For the last two years, my husband Mitch and I have helped our son, Cohen, write his letter to Santa Claus. We put it in an envelope and send it on its way to the North Pole. We enjoy this tradition with as much as Cohen, plus it gives us a great opportunity to discuss what Christmas means to us.
My name is Cohen Connelly. I am 3 years old. My mommy says I have been a good boy this year and I would love lots of presents for Christmas. Tell your reindeers ‘Hi’ for me.
Christmas is exciting in and of itself, but seeing kids intoxicated by the spirit of the season makes it so much better. Santa is everywhere you look during the holiday season, but that often causes children to ask a multitude of questions, such as “What is the true meaning of Christmas?”
It’s better to give than to receive.
While watching TV with Cohen during the holiday season, every commercial we see, I hear, “Mommy, me want that for Christmas.” This time of year is an opportunity to remind your children that it’s better to give than to receive. Even at the young age of 3, Cohen understands what it means to be generous. Although, I would be lying if I didn’t say that it’s challenging for a 3-year-old not to want every toy or game he sees on TV.
For us, it’s helpful to get Cohen involved in Christmas shopping and presenting the idea of giving to others.
Whether it be helping pick out presents, making cards or ornaments or donating our time, we try to help Cohen understand the meaning of Christmas.
In his “Dear Santa” letter he lists a couple of gifts he would like Santa’s elves to make for him. As part of our Christmas tradition he receives one present from Santa each year. He, of course, receives many other gifts from his grandparents, who do their best to spoil him. But, we still try to impress on him that it’s better to give than receive. Knowing that he already appreciates that giving feeling does my heart good.
It’s important to talk about the holidays and create family traditions.
Whether you believe in Jesus or any higher power, I believe that talking to your children about Christmas is important, even at a young age. It can be as simple as reading a book, watching a movie or downloading an app. Last year, as part of our holiday traditions, we decorated the Christmas tree, made a gingerbread house and watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” This gave us the opportunity to discuss Santa Claus, the reason we give and receive presents, and the meaning of the holiday itself.
Everyone has different family traditions during the holidays. Mitch and I started different traditions shortly after marriage and we have continued them through the last five years. Even though Cohen doesn’t fully understand why we attend church every Christmas, he goes and is usually quiet : ) I believe establishing what some call the “true meaning of Christmas” will come in time.
Babies & Toddlers
In addition to the time I devote to being a mom, I also work full-time outside the home, which means my day is hardly ever as simple as nine to five. With an all-too-established schedule, as soon as I walk through the door, my day doesn’t end, but rather just begins. It’s a balancing act, especially with two children, but being a mom is one full-time job that I never want to quit!