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December Infants and Toddlers

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    Medford - absolutely. When I was teaching, we had drills and training for what to do if a dangerous intruder was in the building. But it's not training that caused those teachers and administrators to go above and beyond in trying to protect their kids. They are truly heroes.


    Arcain - what a sweet moment.

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    Just wondering, with Christmas coming: for those of you who celebrate, what traditions have you started for your family?  Or do you hope to start?  What were some of your favorite traditions growning up?

    For me, Christmas Eve was always magical growing up.  We'd decorate the tree that night, go to Mass, have a nice dinner, have a fire, get new PJs.  When I think about it, I don't just remember moments, but the feeling of being safe and happy and completely loved. 

    The one thing I'm insistent on about Christmas with my "new" family (ie, my husband and kids) is that we spend Christmas Eve in our own home and in our own beds.  This is a bit of a challenge since his family is out of state and we get some pressure to be with them, but I think it's important that we start our own traditions and I want my kids to have that same safe, happy, loved feeling that I had growing up. 



  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    I love the idea of Christmas traditions and think they do go a long way toward making kids feel safe and secure.  Regarding pressure to be anywhere but your own home for Christmas Eve, if you set and stick to that tradition early on, eventually everyone will expect you to stay put even if invited somewhere else, and it will become easier over the years as that expectation becomes ingrained in your extended families' minds. :)

    One of my favorite childhood Christmas traditions was that I could open presents that came in the mail as they arrived.  Another was opening the little doors on the inexpensive one-use advent calendars for the Advent season.  Our family did the big presents under the tree on Christmas Eve and saved stockings for Christmas morning.  We had packages marked "from Santa," but it was a fun tradition of pretend in our family; I always knew, and I'm personally glad it was handled that way...not to judge or get into the Santa debate, just my personal reflection.

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    Luv, that stinks to be pulled in a different direction than you'd like due to family locations.  Your idea to stay home sounds really lovely.  I hope it works out for you!

    When I was little, all the presents under the tree were from family, and only the stockings were from Santa.  My husband (and his sisters still today with their kids) have almost every gift from Santa.  So we're going that route this year since that is the family we are much closer with and the cousins he sees reguarly.  We put up the tree well in advance, but nothing goes under it until after the kid(s) are in bed Christmas Eve.  DS is 26 months, and seems to get the concept of Santa and that he brings treats and toys.  So right now we have a gorgeous tree that we all decorated two weeks ago, and all the presents are still in hiding :-)  I bought "Santa" paper the other day so all the gifts to DS could be wrapped in that one paper (whereas gifts from us to other family members will be in random other holiday paper). 

    We also have a nice family tradition on my husband's side for Xmas eve - everyone gathers at my SIL's home (only 10 mins away), we get Chinese food, do presents for the nieces and nephews (now 9 total), and then they get to build gingerbread houses.  The colored frosting is everywhere and we make a great big mess!  The excitement in their eyes as they build is so fun to watch.  For ages, we've got 5, 7, two 10s and then the 12 year old helps the smaller ones (the 17 year old is off doing something else entirely :-)).  DS will be able to do one with DH's help this year!  DS actually has two younger cousins too, 15 mths and one brand new... only 2 weeks... so we've got a great spread in ages which will be fun to watch in the coming years.

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from summerbride09. Show summerbride09's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    Growing up I had 3 "Christmases"- Christmas eve dinner and gifts at my aunt's or grandparents' with my mom's side of the family, Christmas morning at our home when my grandparents would come over to see my presents and my dad would cook a big breakfast, and then Christmas day dinner with my dad's side of the family. It was busy to say the least. DH's family used to do Xmas eve dinner and then just relax at home/play with their gifts on Xmas day. Now that everyone is grown and has SOs and they aren't close with their extended family, they don't really do anything, so my mom has invited them to XMas eve.

    I'm not sure what we'll do in future years, but this year we're doing dinner with his family on the 23rd, Xmas eve at my parents' house with my mom's side of the family, and Xmas day at their house with my dad's side. We're hoping to sell our home and buy a larger one, so maybe we'll be hosting something in the future, I don't know.

    As far as traditions, I didn't really have many besides what we did to celebrate. My dad used to take me to see the Enchanted Village, so that's something I definitely want to do. I'm not sure we'll make it this year as DD is only 6 months so I'm not sure how much she'll get out of it, plus we pretty much just don't have the time! Also DH and I have been doing one of those cheap advent calendars (first time I've ever had one!) so we'll do that too. I bought DD new Xmas pj's and The Night Before Christmas book, so we'll read that as a family on Christmas eve.


    IPW- I love the gingerbread idea- sounds like so much fun, especially for kids!

  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    My husband's family is Jewish and my family never did Santa (we always knew our parents got the presents) so our Christmas traditions are a little different than most.  One thing we've done since DD's first Christmas is go to the aquarium on Christmas Eve.  I hesitate to admit this on an online forum, since the glorious thing about the aquarium on Christmas Eve is that there is almost NO ONE there.  It is fantastic.  After, we walk down to Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market and look at the big tree, eat lunch.  It started as just something we did because DH had the day off and we wanted something to do and since it was so quiet that first year we just kept going back every year.  

    I do most of the shopping but DH gets a book every year for each of the kids and some other bigger gift.  He keeps getting different duplo block sets because he likes to play with them so that's becoming a bit of a tradition as well haha.

    One thing I did this year was took my older daughter out alone so she could pick out a gift she wanted to get for DH and one for the baby.  She took picking them out very seriously it was adorable. She was so proud.

    My favorite tradition of all? One that predates the kids--DH and I order sushi, drink champagne, and exchange our gifts on Christmas Eve. 

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    Oh, yes, lissafro, my father used to take my sister and I out to the mall, to Sears, and we'd buy Christmas gifts for our mother and father.  Now we were little, like 5 and 7, 7 and 9, so he'd move about 4 aisles away while we chose our "secret presents" - and paid for them all by ourselves!  So big, so grown up, and of course Dad knew basically what we'd purchased since we were in the um, candle stick aisle! (or whatever) But WE thought it was some great suprise...

    yes, new pajamas on Christmas eve, usually footie pjs.

  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    (I happen to know that Santa is bringing both me and dh new jammies this year.)

  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    Ct-DC, that's so cute about the surprise.  When my uncle was about 5 he went to the store where my grandfather had a tab (those were the days!) and thought he was being so clever and pulling off a surprise by getting his dad's gift there and paying for it the way things were paid for, on the tab, lol.

  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    Ah traditions. Every year I try and establish them with the kids, but something always gets in the way, someone is sick, etc.. This year we're going to try and do dinner, then church. Ginger bread house will be done this weekend. Did it last year with DS and he had fun. Might add in some cookie baking etc. Just spending time as a family not stessin' about everything being perfect is what I aim for.

  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    I love hearing all of these traditions, new and old! 

    We always had multiple Christmases too - Christmas Eve just with our immediate family as I mentioned, then Christmas Day with all of my dad's family, and the day after Christmas with my mom's family (out of state).  I looked forward to each of them for different reasons...and still, 36 years old, feel weird that I'm not going to my grandparents' on the 26th (we've started going over MLK weekend since end of the calendar year is busy at my job and so their visitors are a little more spread out). 

    I can vividly remember being in Bradlees and Woolworth's in the Dedham Mall to pick out my presents for my mom, dad and sister.  Dad would give us a $20 bill and we felt like we were millionaires!!  So funny. 


  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    This is not immediately applicable, but something to keep in mind as our kids reach school age: at the elementary school I attended, there was always a winter fair in the gym, and there was a special "kids only" room.  You could go in there with your $10 or whatever and buy special surprise presents for your parents.  (I think they probably got a lot of eyeglass screwdrivers, fridge magnets, and that sort of thing!)  Boy, was that the best idea ever.  I felt like a MILLION bucks, picking out surprise presents and paying for them.  I'm actually tearing up now, thinking about how happy and excited I would be with my treasured gifts to give.  So if anyone ends up on any PTO's, there's an idea!

    I am doing something new for myself this weekend: going to a lessons & carols service by myself on Sunday.  When we were growing up, church was a big part of Christmas eve, but since DH and I have been married, we've done neighborhood parties.  We sometimes take his mom to her church for an early service, but I don't enjoy it there.  So I'm really excited to go to a service that will be more like those I grew up with, and have some time to sit, sing, and enjoy.  Other than that, our traditions with DD are still forming.  I tend to enjoy the preceding things the most - picking out the tree, decorating it... so we're making a big deal out of those!

  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    As a mom, the best gifts I get are the ones DS picks out for me. They're typically a car or toy, but what ever he wants to get me, thinks I would like are always my favorite. I tell DH that's all I want, for him to take the kids out and have them pick somethign for me. So special.

  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALS76. Show ALS76's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    I love reading all these holiday traditions!  As a kid, Christmas Eve in my family was a big deal and Christmas day was a little more low key. I come from a big Polish family and we would go to 4:00 mass on Christmas Eve and then to my grandparents' house.  All the cousins would be there too.  Big Polish feast (which I did not enjoy as a kid, but I love the food now!) and my grandfather would sing carols in polish.  My grandparents are no longer with us and I tear up just thinking about it.  It was such a special time and as a kid I just remember how warm and loving it felt to have everyone I cared about in the whole world together for that one night.  And then on the drive home, looking out the car window the whole ride home to see if I could spot Santa's sleigh or Rudolph's nose.  Most of all, I just remember it all feeling so magical. 

    DD is still little (2.5) and we are still forming our traditions with her.  The past couple of years we go and pick out a tree at a place where you cut it down in the "christmas tree forrest" as DD called it this year.  Maybe next year we'll do an advent wreath and I like the idea of new pj's too.  This year we are also really into watching Frosty and Rudolph, so maybe on Christmas Eve, we'll make it a tradition to drink hot cocoa and watch Christmas shows.  Not sure about church, as DD can't sit still for that long yet, but hopefully that too in the future.

  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from luckinlife. Show luckinlife's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    Luv - I have never known anyone else who decorated the tree on Xmas Eve!  Xmas Eve was SOO magical for us too.  When we believed in Santa we went to bed with a bare tree and woke up to an incredible surprise - we were told Santa decorated the tree.  Then when we no longer believed we had fun decorating it ourself and used to have a party every Xmas Eve. 

    Now we go to church, come home and have finger foods and make sure to read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and "Rudolph" and as the kids get older they get a turn to read these to the whole family before bedtime.

    As an aside, I still believe...

    Work has been crazy and we are off to see family the day after Christmas so Merry Christmas Everyone!!

  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    I love reading about all of your traditions. We don't have too many yet, and I am struggling to find the holiday spirit this year for a variety of reasons, so am hoping to get back on track next year.  Luckily, DD (2.2) has no idea what's going on and is terrified of Santa. Not that I'm glad she's terrified of him, but it buys me a year to really figure out how to get the Santa angle just right. She loves Christmas lights, but isn't even really into the tree. I had to decorate the entire thing by myself, then when I asked her if she liked it she said, "No."


    I have a question about travel: We're thinking of taking the kids on their first plane ride to Florida to visit my dad, hopefully in early spring. How difficult is it to finagel two carseats in a rental? I think my dad lives like an hour from the airport. Those of you who have done it - would you recommend bringing carseats or finding them there/renting a car with them (my understanding is that you can do so... but not sure?)

  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    Poppy - I have heard mixed things about renting carseats - I would think that a "kid-centric" Florida destination (Orlando comes to mind) might be better than average, but with lots of kids comes the danger of getting the gross filthy carseat. I think even if one child travels as a lap infant, the 2.2 YO will have to have her own seat, so you could bring her seat on the plane, and check the other. I know Southwest doesn't charge to check carseats, nor do they count it towards your two free bags. Not sure about other airlines, so check when you are booking your flights. I know there have been several really good threads about flying with babies and toddlers if you have more general questions. As far as getting the seats into a rental car, most will have LATCH anchors, since rentals are newer cars. If you are really worried, you could find out what models you might get as a rental and go to a dealership to check them out..... But that seems a bit extreme. 

  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    med, my Mum was JUST reminiscing about the "santa's workshop" booth they had in my elementary school when we were little.  Everything was super-cheap and she could send us to school with $5 and we'd feel so fancy buying little trinkets for everyone in the family.  Lots of "Best Mom" mugs and whatnot.  Apparently I always was so excited about finding the "perfect gift" I would insist on giving everyone their gifts on the car ride home, even though this thing usually happened in late November haha.


    AL, I teared up a little myself reading about your grandfather singing Polish carols.  My Gramps used to get out his fiddle after we'd eaten dinner and start fiddling away.  I can see him standing there, tapping his foot, humming a bit, and reeling on his Irish fiddle in front of the wood stove with the Christmas tree glowing in the parlor and everyone just basking in the food coma and love.

  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALS76. Show ALS76's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    Lissa - right back at you!  I just teared up a little thinking about your grandfather playing the fiddle in front of the tree and the wood stove!  Maybe it is because I'm 13 weeks preggers, but these memories really choke me up!!  I miss my grandparents so much this time of year especially.  I hope to take Polish classes or something someday so that my generation and my DD's doesn't lose too much of that part of our background.

    On another note - today is my last day of work for 2012!  Woo hoo!  I'm looking forward to some good days off with family and a trip to my mom's in NY for NYE.  Can't wait to spend like 12 consecutive days with DD!  oh, and DH too!  ;)

    Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate.  And happy new year to all!

  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from pugslove. Show pugslove's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    Its so great to hear about everyone's traditions!  I am excited to start some with my family. 

    Growing up we stayed home on christmas eve and always got to open one present.  I remember my parents in a great mood, listening to christmas carols and waiting in anticipation for Santa to come.  We put out carrots, cookies and milk for Santa and the reindeer.  The next morning we got up early ofcoarse and went downstairs to see all of our present that Santa brought nicely displayed on the couchs.  They were not wrapped.  I can remember the feeling of excitment!  Then my fathers side of the family would all meet at my grandparents house at 8 am to celebrate and eat Christmas breakfast.  We would be home by noon and have the rest of the day to play with our new toys and enjoy the day. 

    This year, we are struggling to fit everyone in.  Both DH and my parents are divorced and everyone wants to see us and DS.  We felt pulled in every direction.  We worked it out and because DS is 5 months old, it is easy.  It will not be a relaxing day. In the coming years when DS is old enough to know what is going on it will be harder because he will want to be home to play with all his new toys.  I guess we will figure it out.  But I am excited this year!  I feel so blessed to have an awesome baby who makes me so happy.  I cant believe how much love I have towards that little guy!  I have heard the saying "wait until you have kids" and it is sooooooo true!

    Happy Holidays!



  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    I'm heading out on vacation in about 45 minutes but wanted to wish all of you and your families a Merry Christmas (if you celebrate).

    I'm with Luv, we really put our feet down a few years ago and Christmas Eve is at home with new jammies and that feeling of total love.

    Can't wait to hear how your holidays went!

  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from summerbride09. Show summerbride09's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas! DH and I had a great time with our 4 celebrations- his family Sunday, my family Mon and Tues for dinner and just the 3 (4 if you count the dog) of us on Christmas morning. DD did really well, she was in a great mood and was very social.

    Looking forward to New Years, I know it's tough with little ones, but does anyone have any plans? DH and I are ordering Chinese, probably splitting a bottle of wine and playing one of our favorite boardgames. (yes we're nerds with no better I bought DD a funny New Years hat and party horn just for the photo op before she goes to bed.

  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    Summer, I've never had "better plans" than that, lol.  We'll be doing the same.  Cheers!

  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! Things were busy in the KAM household...more toys than the kids could ever imagine. Its just so much fun to see them explore their new toys, and test limits. DD got a baby doll stroller, which she promptly sat in, and a bassinet-it took two times of her climbinging in and getting dumped right out for her to realize it wasn't a great idea.

    Summer-in past years we've taken DS to the parade in Boston, they do family fire works around 7pm. We've always enjoyed ourselves, but admittedly only go if the weather will be okay. We are not big fans of cold weather and bundling up the kids to stay warm enough limits the fun. So depending on the temp I'm not sure what we will do this year.

  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: December Infants and Toddlers

    Hope those of you who celebrated had a very merry Christmas!

    As kids, we went to my godmother's house for Christmas Eve and she made the BEST banana bread.  We got to open (notoriously terrible presents) from her that night.  We'd leave cookies out for Santa and carrots for the reindeer and my mom (of 4) would be up into the wee hours wrapping presents - poor thing!  On Christmas day, we'd stay home with just the nuclear family for Christmas dinner since most family lived out of state.  Looking back, we were so spoiled!  Thanks Mom!  I was also going to mention the little sale they'd do at my elementary school where you could buy all your present's for under $10 total - I loved that!

    At the last minute, we hosted Christmas Eve at our house for my fam and went to my parents' the next day.  DD "helped" us make frosted sugar cookies for Christmas Eve, so hopefully that will be a nice tradition for the future, just don't tell my MIL I stole it.  Both great days and we were all blessed.  On Christmas morning, I saved DD's walking puppy for last because I thought she would love it... but she was terrified LOL!

    No plans for NYE.  I don't think we have any babysitter chips to cash in, so I'm thinking an early dinner out with DD and maybe a True Blood season 4 marathon.  I can't even remember what we did last year!! (the first as parents)