Being the romantic soul that I am, I long for a decorated home. While every year I grudgingly go through the hassle of picking out wraths, lights, candles and cute but stylish (and childproof!) stuff, I always feel peaceful once everything is up. Christmassy, so to say.
I know a simple set of four candles suffice. Advent carries that feeling of anticipation on its own. But my husband is not a christian. He does not know what Advent represents. His mood gets substantially better with a Christmas tree and snow on the windows. Plus, and here’s the thing: I forgot all about Advent the last two years. Having a toddler, especially a school-going one, that is patiently (or less patiently) awaiting Santa Claus (the real one, for the children, with his birthday on December 6) makes me completely unable to think about Christmas until the Holy Man has left the building. Putting carrots in shoes somehow kills the reflective mood I used to find this time of the year.
I feel guilt and I feel a bit sad. Because I love that tradition. And I absolutely want to instill it in my son. I should have thought earlier about how I was going to approach it . I should have realized that now he’s old enough to live up and anticipate, and to understand stories, it’s the perfect time to build our own rituals. And above all, I feel like I’ve missed the opportunity.
So tomorrow I’ll buy my four candles. And on the 7th of December, I’ll get the Christmas tree so we can put it up together the 9th. The books about the Nativity story will be here, right on hand. There will be festive music and decorations. We’ll make artwork together. And I’ll figure out a way to have some quiet time each day to reflect on a theme with my little boy. If I want this tradition to take roots in him, I’ll have to build it consciously, and make it our own.