Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Christmas memory creating

Every single post that Jenny Kemp writes is funny in a Homer Simpson kind of way. Got good stuff in it too.

Christmas memory creating:
This is OK
I'm sure I've written about this before but every year I struggle with the pressure to be an uber mum and have some kind of Christmas craft decorating the house.  Instead I end up with a leaning Christmas tree that the kids have decorated themselves (certainly not going to make the cut for a Myer catalogue), with lights that drove the husband to distraction to untangle.

There's a trend (especially in Christian circles) to create family traditions.  And I'm a total believer.  Good, healthy childhood memories and traditions have been shown to be very significant in developing high levels of security and resilience.

But over time the memories/tradition trend seems to have developed into some kind of Pinterest Christmas competition.  No longer is the knitted nativity scene that Aunty Pip bought for us from the Mother's Union stall in 2003 enough.  It needs to be done by me.  And this is how my family will unite, bond and be functional.

The problem is, this time of the year is a shocker with five school age kids.  End of year events for everything they and us have been involved in over the year fill our nights and days.  All wonderful rich events and important to mark the end of the year, but they don't leave much time to do Christmas craft.  Especially when Christmas craft isn't really your thing.

So I started to reflect on the Christmas traditions that we have developed.  We put up our dodgy plastic tree covered in Christmas craft from playgroup/preschool/Sunday school/ school/childcare over the last 14 years.  We look forward to our presents.  We go to lots of church starting with our mega carols extravaganza that involves our lovely community.  We fight  negotiate turns to open the advent calendar.  I wish I could say that we're doing other kinds of wonderful, spiritually enriching things.  But we're not.  And my kids seem to 'get' Christmas.

When I was a little girl I don't remember having Christmas traditions involving vast amounts of craft and cooking and stress by my mother.  I do remember that we'd have chicken - which was special and frankly a big hassle in India where you had to buy the chicken live.  We had a pot plant that we'd hoist up on a coffee table and decorate with shiny things.  Under the pot plant would be all the yellow postpaks that our gifts had come in from Australia (could never actually open the post packs because half the time the wrapping had been ripped open by customs so there would be no surprise).  We'd pose with the yellow post paks for a photo to send back to prove that we'd received the parcels (in itself a miracle).

I feel like these are lovely memories.  A little unusual perhaps (but hey, when it comes to Christmas, what family DOESN'T have a few wacky things going on?) but in the context of a secure family they're ok.

At the end of the day it still goes back to how you all get on and how special those relationships are.  If you're not crafty just get on with the business of loving your family well.  Those memories count the most.

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