I noticed that I tried to start traditions with my young family and felt frustrated when they didn't stick as I'd hoped. I am giving myself some slack since we're relatively new at this, but I am a little disappointed since I'd painted such a rosy picture of my expectations.
I noticed some feelings in myself that I don't want to continue as a legacy. I think having Christmas on a Sunday really helped me notice these things, such as how "doing Christmas" meant exchanging gifts. Like, we did seven Christmases. Yes, there were seven separate gift exchanges, but I really caught myself calling that a Christmas. No wonder I felt a little empty after each one. It shouldn't be based on the presents! Of course I knew that, but now I GET it.
I noticed again how easy it is to feel like a Grinch when you are toting around all that baby STUFF you need for an extended time away from their crib. Sheesh. I don't want a bigger car though, because I am sure I'd pack even heavier.
I noticed how inappropriate it is for toddlers to receive more toys than they can carry. My son got easily thirty presents, and about two thirds of them came at my husband's family's house. I am so glad we have decided to stick with the three gifts only rule for our house, and I resolved to enforce a rule like this (or even stricter) at other family's homes, too. It is totally inappropriate for him to have so many gifts under the guise of Santa or "you've been so good this year that you get ANOTHER present".
I have a dozen feelings and opinions about this, but before I write more and offend people who a) gave my son the presents from the spirit of good will and cheer or b) write myself into a corner about how I feel about presents, I think I want to talk to others' about their thoughts. Specifically, I have a small group of mom-friends with kids my age and similar values and families that I would LOVE to get together to play in my toy strewn-house. However, only a few of them live in my city. I guess I'll ask a million questions via text or facebook message. (Get ready Sara, Tiffany, Hilary, Ann, Chrissy! And if you have opinions about this topic, PLEASE share.)
I've almost culled through the photos from December, so I'll share most of them in a photo explosion. Wait, not most of them. There's 1300!