I've been watching Dan Hughes over the past couple of weeks and today he was talking about rituals you know bedtime rituals, weekend rituals and holiday rituals. I've been thinking about rituals as the Christmas season is nearly upon us. We already have a few rituals, ones that I had as a child and that I have passed on, others new and evolving as each of our children made their appearances.
My mum has made each child for their first Christmas an advent calendar, which we fill with chocolates and gifts, nothing expensive - key rings, Christmas tissues etc, we attend the Christmas Eve service at our church and after spend a couple of hours at a friends home drinking mulled wine, eating party food and catching up with old friends. When we return home we hang our stockings and leave out a mince pie, a glass of milk and a carrot for Father Christmas and his reindeer. Christmas morning is us all snuggled up in the living room opening presents.
Last year we decided with two other families to arrange a lunch on the Sunday before Christmas, we host as we have the space and I make starter/snacks and the veg for the main meal, another family bring the main course and the other desserts. We pull crackers, play silly games and just have a wonderful time. We are planning our next one for the 21st.
As child 4 has now been with us for 15 months I have been thinking about new rituals, ones triggered by his needs, so I have wrapped a few books, some old, yet not often read and 4 new ones. I saw the idea on Facebook, 24 books throughout December, finishing of course with The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. I've not gone the whole hog as we have the fantastic calendars but I have wrapped a few for those days when it all becomes too much and we need a moment of quiet time, cuddled up on the sofa to ease away the chaos. And for Christmas Eve I have filled a box with new pyjamas, a family DVD well the Indiana Jones Trilogy plus the last one and popcorn, I am hoping that this will provide peace for a couple of hours in the afternoon and a reason for the two youngest to happily wear their new onesies to church and onto the party so that they are already for bed on our return.
I don't know if Christmas will be difficult for our youngest, for the time being he seems to take all the excitement in his stride. This year of course he is old enough to enjoy the excitement, to take part in the carolling, the baking, the house decorating and the meeting of Father Christmas. I guess we should enjoy the good times and worry about the not so good when they happen. After all certainly for us right now it really is a most wonderful time of the year.......