There are so many decisions young families face, especially when welcoming a new baby into the fold. Breast or bottle? And if you choose to do the bottle, what type? What about pacifiers? Nursery school or nanny? Sleep training (YES, please) or co-sleeping (no thanks)? And on the other side of every single decision is harsh judgement from everyone from close relatives to the nosy lady you always run into at the market (you know the type…The Sock Dictator).
One decision that was easy for us was Santa Claus. In my pre-parenting days, I was wholly against the idea of Santa Claus. I’m not really even sure why because per my Mother’s rules, I still technically have to believe in old St. Nick in order to receive any gifts at her house. I think I perhaps wanted all the credit for the massive amount of work that a great Christmas requires, but now that I am a mother in my own right, I’m all for it (the IT being all things magical and festive).
I’m the mother who made my two-month old leave out carrots for the Easter Bunny, so of course we’re not only leaving out cookies for Santa on a special plate, but we’re also making reindeer feed to sprinkle in our yard and leaving out carrots for Rudolph. And of course, I have a Burl Ives vinyl to play on our vintage record player that sits beneath our mammoth tree. And of course we all have matching Christmas pajamas. Childhood only happens once and it’s only for a few years, so it may as well be magical.
Another thing that was easy for us to decide was how we wanted to go about giving presents from Santa. Annabeth is spoiled absolutely rotten by her Darling and Pop (especially her Darling). My Mother buys her shoes, clothing, toys, books, and puzzles constantly and has been squirreling away Christmas gifts since before she was born. My Mother is the Queen of Christmas and of Giving (and my Daddy is the lovable Clark Griswold type who often asks, “What did I get you?” on Christmas morning when we’re unwrapping gifts). Since I’m directly related to the Queen of Christmas and of Giving, I knew it would probably be smart to limit what Santa brings to Annabeth by dividing her gifts into four categories: something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read.
I’m hoping that by limiting myself to four gifts, I’ll be able to find the most special and significant gifts and create a heart of gratefulness in Annabeth. I also know myself enough to know that I would literally go broke if I got her everything I wanted to purchase her. If all else fails, Baby Jesus only got three gifts and if it was good enough for the Savior of All Mankind, then four gifts will be good enough for Annabeth Shealy (nothing like a Southern Baptist mother to lay it on thick!).
This year Annabeth’s something you want is a Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair. In October PBKids had a massive sale and I got her chair at a great price. I chose the Light Pink option because it matches her bedding and Boppy cover. She has a small chair at my Mother and Daddy’s house that she loves, so I thought this would be a sweet addition to our living room.
Annabeth’s something you need is a sweet little riding toy I found at Target called a Buggly Wuggly. My petite girl is just too tiny for most riding or pushing toys, so this was a perfect choice for her. I’m also kind of a witch when it comes to toys (not in the living room) and baby paraphernalia (why the primary colors????), so the muted tones help soften the blow a bit.
The something to wear portion of this list is kind of a joke because Annabeth Shealy is never without something sweet to wear. Between my Mother and myself, she’s got all the lace and frills and smocks and monograms she’ll ever need. I opted to go with a sweet dress from Cecil and Lou and got our sweet new nephew Asher the matching romper for our Christmas day festivities. I didn’t care for the fonts offered for these particular outfits, so I had them monogrammed with this one instead.
The something you read part was simple. Over the summer, Josh read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to Annabeth. He took great delight in this pastime and did all sorts of accents and voices. My sweet cousin Lauren gave me this beautifully illustrated copy for Christmas last year. Josh can’t wait to read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to her! And if you’re wondering, we absolutely read chapter books to our baby.
We decided to let stocking stuffers be from Mommy and Daddy. We did a handful of bath toys (our little mermaid baby loves the water) and this bracelet for when she gets older.
How do you do Christmas in your home? Santa or Belsnickel or no Santa at all?
PS, I got this for Josh for Christmas. I know nothing about these types of things, but I also know he’s been dying to open it since it arrived.
PSS, I’m dreaming of a Tory Burch Christmas (don’t let me down, Santa).