Really, there's no arguing about it: When you become a mom, you look forward to holidays even more. It's an opportunity to redo your childhood -- from the other side. Now you're the person behind the curtain. You're the one who manufactures the squeals and smiles and memorable traditions. Dressing your kid up on Halloween? Um, yes, please. Bouncing your son or daughter on your lap as you ooh and ahh over fireworks on the Fourth of July? Of course! And needless to say, Christmas. Ah, Christmas. The mother of all holidays, if you celebrate it. Finally, you get to "be" Santa. Finally, you get to buy that "Baby's First Christmas" ornament you've been eyeing for so many years. And finally, you get to spoil the everliving crap out of your offspring.
My daughter will be 8 months old come Christmas. And, as I think it goes without saying, I'm more excited than ever for the holiday. I try to imagine the look on her face when she sees a lit-up tree for the first time. I wonder if she'll cry when she lays eyes on "Santa." And the thought of putting her to sleep at night -- in holiday-themed PJ's, obviously -- and setting out gifts for her to "open" the following morning truly does make me all warm and fuzzy inside. It's a completely justifiable excuse to buy her outfits I think she'll look adorable in; books she'll love to gnaw on; and toys I'd otherwise consider to be too pricey to buy "just because." I've loved shopping for friends' and relatives' babies all these years, and now, finally, it's my turn to shower my baby with a boatload o' gifts!
Except I'm not going to. Because my baby, like most babies, would rather eat the wrapping paper.
Babies really don't know what's going on on their first Christmas, do they? Sure, they sense that there's an excitement in the air, what with all the people around, and the scary bearded man trying to hold them, but at the end of the day, I think we all know that our little ones -- on their first holiday -- really could care less about their gifts. Give them an empty box, and they're in heaven.
So, this year -- on my daughter's first Christmas -- there will not be a crane lowering presents into our living room for her. Sure, I'll buy her a few memorable things, but no need to go crazy. Like I said, she'll really have no clue what's happening.
And besides, isn't that what grandparents and aunts are for?
Did you buy your kids gifts when they were just babies, and could they really tell the difference?
Image via wfyurasko/Flickr
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside