Δευτέρα, 6 Ιανουαρίου 2014

How We Celebrated This Year?

This is typically the time that all bloggers share pictures of their homes decorated, making treats, preparing presents and everything christmas-y (ok, maybe this time has passed and I would have posted this about 2 weeks ago if the silly blogger app hadn't mess with my posts. aka deleted them. twice). To be honest, I had no time to decorate or anything else until christmas eve. And it's not just that, this year I also had to choose what my relationship with christmas would be.

A few years ago, I hated christmas. Not that much because of the religous part (although I used to be an angry atheist). I hated the fact that most people were being total assholes all year long but then...suddenly...oh-my-god-it's-christmas-let's-be-good-to-each-other. And when these days were ending they were coming back to their ugly selves. Not to mention the consumerism.

Although every year these days, I was turning to a real Grinch, when I became a mom, I felt different about christmas. I wanted to celebrate with and for my child (and I do every single day). The thing was how I would celebrate.

Last year he was too young, but now I could see his interest for christmas lights, santa, rudolf etc. The truth is that I don't want him to believe that there's an old man who brings whatever present Nereus asks. If he wants to use his (already crazy) imagination to make pictures of santa or anything else, that's ok with me and I'll use my (definitely crazy) imagination to play with him. But I will never ever lie to him to make him believe that santa ate the cookies or something. I want him to trust me and therefore I will never lie.

I made a little research and I learned a lot about how and what people celebrate these days. This could be an amazing activity to share with Nereus in a few years, too. It was an easy choice for me. I am not a relegious person, but I'd love to celebrate winter solstice and the coming of the new year.

I'm still working on it and I believe that I always will. Mostly because I don't know how Nereus will react to all these as he grows up. I know that maybe he'll want to do what other kids do and I guess I'll be going with my gut.

I want to make little family traditions though and for now, the plan goes like this....



Decoration...
We had nothing. At all. Last year my mother had given us her tree and ornaments (yes, she's awesome). But, what about this year? I had no intension to pay for a plastic tree that's gonna be here poluting our earth after we leave. The idea of giving money for having a real tree slowly dying in my living room was worse. Lack of space was an issue, too. And then, the idea came! I would buy a live plant in a pot so we can have it all year long!! I found a little fir tree that Nereus keeps calling a 'baby'. We made the ornaments for the tree ouselves and I also bought lights because who doesn't love lights?



Presents...
All our presents are selectively chosen and they all have a practical use. I wrapped them in this lovely brown paper and I'm planning to open them carefully, keep the paper and reuse it. The presents will be being opened on the morning of the new year. By the way, I was surprised to see all those gifts other bloggers received like mixers, laptops, cameras etc. and all of our gifts are like slippers, books, underwear...we are so poor haha! Seriously now, I don't underastimate our presents and I'm so grateful that I'm able to afford buying them. And I'm not jealous. I know I'm not gonna get any expensive presents in the near future and that's ok. And of course I hope everyone is happy with their presents. I just feel like I live in a different world sometimes. Maybe I am. Oh, I almost forgot...I decided to make a little tradition. That would be to take an amount of the extra money I make this time of the year and an amount of Nereus's money too and make a donation or helping someone in need. This year, because we didn't have much money but really wanted to give something, we donated $10 (I know, it's silly little but better than nothing) to PETA and I also donated $16 to become a PETA member and recieve interesting goodies.

This is just a silly last minute box for letters to santa I made for the job.

Traditions...
Well, lots of them in this country. First of all, we make (or buy) lots of sweet treats. Mostly non vegan and full of sugar. I'm thinking about veganising and adding other sweeteners instead of sugar. We didn't this year, but maybe we could do this in the future. On the eves, kids are singing christmas songs to
neighbors and get money. It's something similar to trick or treating. I'm not sure how this is going to work cause I would like Nereus to do this and I believe he would too but the song content is too religious related that I can't stand it sorry. This time, we sang Nereus's favorite kids song but in the future, if he wants to do it outside the family he'll have to learn the actual song and I'll have to relax a bit. I also found out that there's a lot of work for me this time of the year, but I'll be prepared for next year.



We took Nereus to the Christmas factory. Like last year, he rided the carousel this time with his dad. Later we all had a ride at the train. We danced a bit and left to grab some food.

How did you celebrated this year?

Anything special?

Any suggestions for funny activities for kids for christmas/winter solstice (for next year)?

7 σχόλια:

  1. You share a similar attitude towards Christmas as I do. For every gift I made I donated another to charity, plus I donated a quarter of my income for the month of December. Yep as poor as we are I know others are worse off. I also struggle with the lies surrounding Santa

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    1. Wow I admire you for that! Next year I'll be more prepared and make a better donation!

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  2. Αυτό το σχόλιο αφαιρέθηκε από τον συντάκτη.

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  3. It sounds like we share similar feelings about Christmas and it was really refreshing to read this post. Like you, I used to be a bit of a grinch, but having Kale has made me think differently and embrace some of the good parts about the holiday a little bit more. This year he was REALLY excited for Christmas, and it was hard not to get caught up in it all. Like you, we don't do santa. I HATE the idea of trying to convince Kale to be on his "best behaviour" because "someone is watching." We do our best not to use rewards in our everyday, so it's important that we keep consistent with that. Also, like you, I'm not interested in lying to him about something so big.

    We have the saddest fake Ikea tree that I bought on a guilty whim last year and Kale LOVES it. We also do homemade decorations and had so much fun making salt dough ornaments this year. Kale spent hours decorating that tree and repositioning the ornaments. He was so proud of it.

    In the past we've done four gifts - something to read, something to create, something to play, and something to wear. This year, I totally admit, I went a bit overboard, but it was FUN. Eek - the lure of christmas consumerism got me (but I don't really regret it).

    Anyway - loved reading this, so thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Exactly! We see things the same way!

      This "behaviour thing" because "someone is watching" totally creeped me out. It reminded me of my childhood, when I was freaked out all the time because (according to my grandma) god was watching every silly thing I was doing. I laugh now, but it was so spooky back then.

      I have heard this 4 gift rule before, but I haven't realized that it was aimed to parents so they wouldn't go crazy with the gifts...haha!

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  4. Oh I so agree with you in so many ways about Christmas! We had a live tree too (a native kowhai tree that is special to us here) and we handmade decorations. Edie really got excited about it all because she had been seeing trees decorated everywhere she went. It's summer here so no winter solstice, we have the summer solstice instead. Being summer, lots of the American traditions don't make sense, because we have no snow and we are usually near the beach taking summer holidays.

    Like you I wanted to create our own Christmas traditions and we have! They will change and evolve over time I'm sure. We have a homemade advent calendar for the countdown to the 25th Dec (usually they are filled with non-vegan chocolate) and I put in little cards so each day we could do something fun or special. Things like make cookies together, wrap gifts or donate pet food to the local cat shelter. I like that some of the things are fun but lots are about helping others. Other traditions are pizza on Christmas eve (home-made or ordered, we can get vegan pizza delivered here), making each other gifts and one of Jay's is to eat chocolate in the bathtub! Don't ask me why, but he came up with it when he was about 3 years old.

    Sorry this comment is too long! I might have to write my own post about what we do. Thanks for inspiring me to think about it and for sharing your own special things. xx

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    1. That homemade advent calendar sounds terrific!! I may make this for next year! Maybe it can be a great opportunity for me to get organised and have everything on time! Thanks for the awesome idea!!

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