The cousins at Build-a-Bear
As I get older, I find it is more and more important to me to celebrate holidays and create traditions for my family. Reflecting back on my childhood, my Mother had many traditions for us. They centered around holidays. We decorated eggs at Easter and did an Easter egg hunt. I remember making an egg tree one year out of blow-out eggs and a branch I found in the yard. We always had wonderful feasts at Thanksgiving. My Mother would have us polish the silver and the table would look amazing set with my Grandmother's crystal fostoria. We believed in Santa and looked forward to Christmas Day to see the gifts he would bring. New Years Eve was a dinner that was special-and just what my brother and I wanted. One year I asked for buttered noodles and strawberry soda-and I got it.
I find myself now becoming even more aware on how important creating memories are for my children-all of them. Not only do we celebrate Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years but we will celebrate Lunar New Year, Chusuk, Autumn Moon, and other holidays that are important to my family as I help the little girls identify themselves as Korean-American and Chinese-American. I want them to embrace themselves into our family as we have embraced them but not lose their ties to the countries of their births. In doing this, I also hope to make all of my children more culturally aware. I'm still working on how we will celebrate all of the holidays and here is what we are and will be doing during the Christmas season.
This month the children are having fun opening their advent calenders. They count down the days to Christmas with a yummy chocolate. Since Minah doesn't understand why she can only have one chocolate per day, she is already 12 days into the month instead of 10. She runs over and says, "Mmmm..." and signs for "more". If that doesn't work she tries to get the calender herself and cries. So, she has gotten a few chocolates a bit sooner than everyone else. Over the years I have collected many Christmas books. Each year they are packed away with the holiday decorations. We try to read one each night to the kids until Christmas. Yesterday it was "The New and Improved Santa". The kids all love the holiday decorations-especially Minah. She loves the lights, the tree, the ornaments, and especially Santa. Daddy even went out and bought more lights for outside because she loves them so much. We let the kids help us pick out a few more things to display in our yard. When Minah sees a Santa she lights up and starts saying, "Santa! Santa! Ho! Ho! Ho!" Wednesday she met him "in person". She liked seeing him but did not want to sit on his lap. Chloe and Jacob got to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas, with instructions to make sure to tell Mommy too. Next weekend starts our Christmas parties with our extended family. This is such a wonderful time of year and so wonderful we get to see everyone. I can't wait to watch the kids sprinkle reindeer food on the sidewalk outside of the house on Christmas Eve and attend the candle light service at church that night with them. We will track Santa on Norad on the computer until bed time. They will leave Santa milk and cookies and awaken in the morning to find their gifts and a thank-you note from the big guy.
This is one of my favorite times of the year. I hope someday they look back at the traditions we have and the memories we created fondly. I look forward to seeing what types of traditions they start with their families once they are grown.