How it is already December 1 is completely mind blowing to me. I feel like this year just started and here we are preparing for the next one. The difference between last December and this December for our family is that we now have a child to share the holiday season with. I am completely elated with this and cannot wait to begin traditions that I hope last a lifetime! With that on my mind, I started thinking about traditions, the holidays and what it all means to me. If this is something I plan to pass on to my child, it seems as though I should know why it all matters in the first place.
As I have gotten older, the gift giving side of the holiday season has progressively become a bit much for me. It seems as though the things that really matter get overlooked and the things that don't really matter are held in the highest regard. As a mother, I feel that it is my responsibility to raise a child that understands what the holiday season means to everyone, including the less fortunate, people with different cultural backgrounds and those that aren't able to celebrate the holidays due to other circumstances. While this may be a lesson hard taught and learned in a society centered around material objects, money and entitlement, it's a lesson I'll be damned if I don't pass it along. I have thought a lot about what I hope for the future of the holidays for The Yearley Family and I believe that I have a few ideas that I am eager to try out.
First and foremost, I have spent a lot of time researching what families do for their kids every year in terms of presents. What I found in most of my searching was that a lot of people stick to the four gift rule: a want, a need, a wear and a read. This has been the most helpful suggestion I have found and it is something I plan to implement. This first year with a kiddo is a bit easier because he is still an infant and presents mean absolutely nothing to him right now, so that makes this first Christmas a great stepping stone for us! With that said, when family has asked us what to get Luke, I've stuck to the four options (i.e., a high chair, a baby walker, warm clothes for the winter season and BOOKS). I believe that this is the best method for our family. My son will be smothered in love, education, and safety which I firmly believe is significantly better than any material possession he could ever have.
Second, as I mentioned before, I want my son to understand how the holidays affect everyone. What this means is that for those that are less fortunate, we will be volunteering and giving back. We don't need items in excess when there are people in our community going without basic necessities. I have researched our local shelters to see what they are in need of. In addition to basic items, such as clothing, food and toiletries, they are also needing volunteers for a variety of events. I am eager to have my family help out those that are much less fortunate in the community because it will be a great way to give back. I imagine that this will be something we will do year round, but the holidays are a great time to remember those in the community that aren't able to celebrate in the same ways that we are.
Furthermore, I want my son to understand culture. For those that celebrate different holidays, or don't celebrate holidays at all, this time of year can be rather difficult. In our society, Christmas is a holiday that is highly advertised. Because Christmas is a holiday that our family celebrates, the advertisements that we see all the time aren't a problem, however for those with different views it can be hard to navigate this time of year. I want my son to understand that while he may celebrate Christmas, it is both okay and completely wonderful that others do something different. I want more than anything, for my son to be loving and respectful of the diversity in our world and I am eager to educate him on all of the different ways that people celebrate what is important to them.
A final aspect that I am hard pressed for my son to understand is that there are families that aren't able to be together during the holidays. While there are many families that choose to be apart for the holidays, many don't get to make that choice. Some families are apart because a family member is deployed in the military and others are battling illnesses and diseases and have to spend their holiday in the hospital. It can really be a difficult time of year for these families and I don't ever want my son to take what he has for granted. My hope is that we will be able to create some care packages to send to those in the military that are unable to celebrate the holidays with their families. Additionally, I am planning to come up with a variety of items that we can take to our local Children's Hospital for the children and families that are spending the holiday season away from their homes. So many families are unable to provide for their children because of the cost of the hospital bills and at times it can be so incredibly overwhelming for everyone involved. I am hopeful that my son will always know what he has and that he will want to give back as much as I do.
Regardless of what we are force fed in society, I am dedicated to raising a child who understands the real value in the holiday season. I will do everything in my power to make sure that he knows how important it is to be a helping hand for those that need it and that everything we need in life can be found within us. Love, life, friendship, family and education will far surpass any material possession that we may find desirable at any point in time and I am eager for my son to learn these lessons as he grows up. I am honored to have the opportunity to be a guiding light in my son's life and I cannot wait to see what kind of man he becomes.
I truly hope that you all have blissful holiday season and that you remember no matter how small, a kind gesture can go a long way! Be grateful, spread love, give back, and embrace one another during this holiday season!
Mama Yearley 💙
Published by Alexandra Yearley