Tuesday, November 12, 2013

my super heros & holiday musings

My little boys were super heros this year for Halloween.  This holiday was a little different for me than it has been in the past.  My experience with Halloween as a child was limited.  We dressed up, but not ever as anything scary.  We didn't dress up at school, I don't think anyone did.  We went to our church Fall festival & didn't stay home or trick or treat that I can remember.  My parents never made a big deal about it, and I don't remember ever really thinking much about it as a child.  Not a dedicated Halloween enthusiast, but not against.

testing out the super hero t-shirt

This year even more than before, I worried about my boys seeing things that would scare them - make them afraid.  I don't want to put things before their eyes that are too violent or scary.  They are still so little & there is no rush for them to grow up!  The question for me is: how to participate, be involved, be in but not of this cultural norm.  I don't want to remove our boys from their culture, but I desire for them to be wise in the midst of it.  I desire to give them a filter, a sensor, a radar & alarm that tells them that they need to evaluate & choose.  What can be a fun, purely cultural tradition where we spend time with our neighbors & friends, versus what is not.  (I am laughing at myself, but maybe these understandings will come with age & seeking as mine have?)

we found some super heros that became snuggle buddies

Holidays continue to spark questions for me as we raise our boys: what traditions do we desire to create?  What do we want to emphasize?  What do we want to de-emphasize, downplay, eliminate?  How can we make our holidays about the time together & joy in our family&friends?  How can we elevate Christ in all the holidays, especially Christmas??  What is good balance?

pumpkin carving & using their little wooden hammers & a golf tee to create a polka dot pumpkin!

I tend to run away from excess, indulgence, over-the-top.  I desire small, intimate, meaningful.  I'm not good at it, but I try.  I am already a 'kid on Christmas morning' as I am now 'allowing' myself to shop for toys & pjs & books like I normally do not.  and it brings ME so much joy!  No wonder we want to spoil our kids, and it is a blessing to give.

Evil doers beware!  Super James & Super Hayden are here!!

I hope I can help create & foster holiday gatherings with our extended family for our boys as they grow.  It is a precious gift to have family - even when holidays bring stress & schedules & chaos & travel.  I know I value the memories I have & the effort my parents made for us to spend the holidays with our grandparents & cousins & aunts/uncles.  I hope to always be able to give that gift to my boys as well.

Super Hayden & Super James in action!
 Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday.  It strikes me as odd because how could Christmas NOT be my favorite, but still.  I love the Fall.  I love the concept of gathering together to give thanks to our God for what he gives.  I love apple pie & pumpkin pie.  Yes, Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday.

all 3 of my super heros
But Halloween has definitely made me look at the way I celebrate & why.  and I am grateful for that.  If nothing else, I would like to be INTENTIONAL about how we participate as a family in any & every holiday.  That may seem a little odd, but I'm glad to be odd.

ready to roll around our block
 I'm convinced the introspective look & challenge to my own norm is healthy.  Self-evalutation can be such a helpful tool in refinement, but only if I am honest.  It is easy for me to be all in the mind & not as good in actual day-in-day-out life, but you do have to start.

by far my cuddliest super hero
Next, all I have to do is figure out how to turn down the volume on santa + materialism + elves + chaos and turn up the volume on Christ + his birth + his life + his gift.  How to do that....!?

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