Happy New Year, Hedgehogs (or close enought, right?)! Before I tell you all about our wonderful Christmas, I wanted to remind you that tomorrow is the last day to put in your book order. Head over to the Happy Hedgehog Post group page to check out our great offerings. We have Waldorf books for both kids and adults, all at 30% off! You’ll find the order form in the pinned post at the top of the page.
Now, on to Christmas! As I mentioned in the Solstice post, I had some mixed feelings about Christmas. Kiddo was only eight months old last year, so he didn’t really know what was going on. This year, I wanted to create magic for him without letting things get overwhelming. And when you see all the loot under our Christmas tree, you’ll understand my concern:
This felt like a lot to me. We had three (!) kinds of ride-ons, a stacker, a table and chair set, a Holztiger cow family, and lots and lots of wrapped packages. Confession: my husband and I didn’t buy a single gift. Our family is very generous, and buying more just didn’t seem necessary. On Christmas Eve, as we put everything together, I couldn’t decide how we would approach all these presents. Should we keep everything in our bedroom and bring things out one by one throughout the day? Or should we go for the dramatic reveal in the morning? In the end, we struck a compromise. All the big toys were covered with play silks and discovered together, while we spaced unwrapping boxes over the entire day. It worked out very well.
In fact, I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much fun the morning was. He was really in love with his table, and returned to it over and over. When he needed to burn some energy, he’d leave the table and take one of his wheeled toys for a spin. Also, he let us know when he was ready to unwrap a box. This was the biggest surprise. I was expecting the chaos of wrapping paper and presents flying. Instead it was a very calm, gradual process.
I think something that really helped was being conscious of the level of “stuff” in front of him at any given moment. Most of the wrapped presents were kitchen toys that came with lots and lots of pieces. As each of these was opened, I would edit. The stacker and the cows went away for a little while when the tea set came out. The tea set went away when he unwrapped the toaster. This way, there was never too much mess at any one point. In addition to not overwhelming the toddler, I think the unwrap-and-edit approach helped me feel more comfortable. I get antsy around a lot of mess, and this kept me sane. I’m sure kids pick up on this sort of thing.
As the day went on, the tea party got more guests and Ben got more undressed. He played by himself for hours, moving from toy to toy but always deliberately, not in the manic way of a child presented with too much choice. There wasn’t a meltdown to speak of, from Mommy or baby! The best part? It’s already all put away!
How was your holiday? Please link to your blog posts in the comments!