We’ve Reached An Agreement on Santa!

After my recent post, Debating What to Do About Santa, I’ve gotten tons of feedback.  Thanks to everyone who took the time out to personally call, text, and email your thoughts.  I truly appreciate it.  You all have given me so much to think about.  My hubby and I had a long discussion about this whole Santa thing and came to a decision.

We have decided to go along with introducing Santa to our baby girl.  However, as I told my hubby, under some conditions.  These stipulations include teaching our daughter the real meaning of Christmas, and making sure it doesn’t get lost in the commercialization of the holidays.

I know that she’s way to young to understand the true meaning of Christmas.  But it’s something that we’ll teach her as she gets older.  Since we’ve decided to incorporate jolly ol’ St. Nick into the festivities, I think it’s only right that we also educate her about the origin of the guy everybody now calls Santa Claus.

As her daddy did as a child, Princess will leave out cookies and milk for Santa.  She’ll also have her picture taken with him as well.  As you can tell by these pics, she was overcome with emotion. lol.

We’ll play along with this fantasy and I’ll try not to let the cat out of the bag.  If it ever becomes to much for her, I have no issues with tailoring the holidays to suit her.  Sometimes all this hoopla can be a bit overwhelming to some kids.  We would never want the be the kinds of parents who over indulges in all the Christmas excitement.

Even though we’ve decided to introduce Santa to our baby girl, we don’t want this experience to be overshadowed by the fact the Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ.  She’ll get plenty of gifts, but she’ll also learn about the importance of giving back and showing appreciation.

Our main focus will also be celebrating the holidays with close family and friends.

How will you be spending the holidays?  If you’re also debating on whether or not to introduce Santa to your little ones, hit me up!  Plus, stayed tuned for more holiday pics!

Weather Anchor Mama

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Debating What to Do About Santa

It seems like the holidays came so fast this year.  Every where I turn I see Christmas lights!  I think that retailers skipped over Thanksgiving decorations and went right to the Christmas displays.  Technically, this will be Princess’s second Christmas.  Last year she was only a few months old and didn’t really get to enjoy it.  All she wanted to do was eat through the gifts.  She was also sick with bronchiolitis during the holidays.  So, I wasn’t thinking about going all out with decorations and pictures.  I’m not a Scrooge!  I was just more concerned with nursing my baby girl back to health.
Now that she’s doing much better this year (fingers crossed), I have no excuse.  I came across this pic of my hubby’s first Christmas.  His mom dressed him in this cute outfit for his photo with Santa.  

It got me thinking of whether or not I should do the same for Princess.  I was never taught to believe in Santa.  In fact, my siblings and I were told there was no such thing.  I was the kid who went around school saying Santa was fake.  I should also mention that by the time my family and I migrated to this country, I think most kids had already realized the truth.  Therefore, I probably didn’t ruined Christmas for a lot of kids.  I hope.  
Now that I’m a mom, I’m not quite sure what to do.  I’ve always moved to the beat of my own drum.  I’ve never been the kind of person to do things just because everyone else is doing them.  But, I grapple with depriving my baby girl of this American tradition.  Some may say I’m over thinking this, but I say I don’t want my daughter feeling left out.  I also wouldn’t want her running around saying Santa is fake, and ruin Christmas for her schoolmates.  
I was at the mall with some relatives over the Thanksgiving break and someone mentioned, “Why don’t you have her take a picture with Santa?”  I can’t remember if I gave a response.  But, I did feel that it was a waste of time.  Why should I have her take a photo with this make believe person?  Why should I tell my child that this white old fat guy with a beard visits all the kids who are nice, and gives them presents?  I remember having a discussion with my brother and sister back in the day.  We questioned the idea of this guy, and his reindeer being able to deliver gifts all over the world in one night.  It just didn’t make sense!  I still see some parents go all out to feed this nonsense to their little ones.  These poor kids actually believe it.  They wait on this long line at the mall just to take a pic with him.  When they finally get old enough to understand the truth, they’re heart broken.  Do I put my child through that same heartache, or do I keep it real with her?  It’s bad enough that I feel like a hypocrite doing a Santa tracking forecast every year at work.

The way I see it, her daddy and I work hard to support our family.  We’re responsible for all the gifts, along with all the people who love her.  Why should I give this man, who doesn’t exist, all the credit?
If I have her take a pic with this guy, I feel like I’d be perpetuating this fakery.  I’m kinda torn.  I knew that I’d have a tough time making these kinds of decisions, when it came to the holidays.  I certainly don’t mind compromising like I did for Halloween.  But, I’m just not sure about this one.

My hubby and I celebrated Christmas differently as kids.  He believed in Santa until he was about seven or eight.  I never did.  I’m leaning more toward teaching Princess about the real meaning of Christmas and how it came about.  Instead of making a list, I want her to have an appreciation for all the gifts she’s given.  My hubby and I have a lot to discuss.  Let’s just hope we can arrive at a nice balance.  I’ll let you know what we come up with.

Do (did) your kids believe in Santa?  Do (did) they take pics on his lap?

Weather Anchor Mama

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Unveiling Your Roots

I always knew that I wanted to have a child someday.  I am so grateful that God has given me that gift.  But with this gift comes great responsibilities.  As a mom, it’s my job to teach Princess about so many things like morals and values.  Most importantly, it’s my duty to teach her about her heritage.  The passing of her paternal grandfather this year triggered something within me to want to learn as much as I can, not just about my family, but my husband’s as well.  I know that my baby girl will appreciate it one day.

He was a healthy man in his early seventies and no one saw it coming.  The death of my father-in-law happen so suddenly that it threw everyone for loop.  All I kept thinking about was that he’d only met his youngest grandaughter once.  I had wish there was more time.  Unfortunately, tragedy can strike at any point.  My daughter was (and still is) way too young to understand.  So her father and I made a decision to keep her in daycare, while we attended the services.

When it comes to funerals, I’m never quite comfortable.  But for some reason, this one was different.  After meeting some of my husbands relatives for the first time, I felt motivated to learn about the family’s heritage.  I always knew of his Irish and German background, but who would have thought there was so much more to discover?  It will take me forever to write everything down.  So I won’t bore you with every nook and cranny.

My cousin-in-laws have been documenting their relatives through ancetry.com.  I learned that my great great father-in-law moved to the U.S. from Germany and changed his last time, after becoming estranged from his family.  He later started his own clan in New York, and a few generations later my hubby came into the world.

One day Princess will learn all about her many greats including her grandfather who was an avid bowler and managed a local bowling alley.

With the help of my mother-in-law, I’ve been able to collect pictures of Princess’s ancestors.

It’s one of the best presents I can ever give her.  The gift of knowing her heritage.  It’s not to – in any way – discount my side of the family.  It’s a lot more difficult to trace that far back into my roots.  But I make it a point to involve my immediate family as much as possible.  Most of  my relatives still reside out of state, and abroad.  So having a blog helps them stay in touch with what’s going on in our lives.  I also collect pictures and other documents that she will later be able to have.  Princess will one day learn about her mama’s migration to the U.S. from Jamaica as well as her daddy’s life in America.

 She’ll also learn all about her grandparents’ wedding day, as well as the home grandma and daddy grew up.  Some day she may even get to visit my mom’s childhood home in Jamaica.

Right now Princess has a close relationship with both of her grandmothers.

I hope that by learning about her forefathers, my baby girl will appreciate her diverse culture.  She’s also develop an understanding of the many different ethnicities that exist in the world we live in.  I think having a global perspective is key to knowing her personal identity.  We still have so much more to uncover in our journey to unveil our roots.  I hope your encouraged to unveil your own.  Your kids will thank you for it.

You can also view this post at De Su Mama!

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Stuck Between Two Cultures

My native country is Jamaica, but I’ve spent most of my life growing up in the states.  With that said, I was always stuck between two cultures.  My siblings and I weren’t allowed to celebrate Halloween because it wasn’t celebrated in Jamaica.  I remember my mom referring to it as “duppy holiday” (translation- ghost holiday).  That was her way of saying that it was “pure foolishness.”  We never had costumes and we never went trick-or-treating.  I think my teachers felt pity on me.  They would slip me a few extra pieces of candy, so I wouldn’t feel so bad.  I also remember getting sweet treats from the bodega in Brooklyn on my way home from school.

That was the closest my siblings and I came to celebrating this day that so many kids love.  The fact that all my friends enjoyed all the festivities didn’t help.  It used to get me upset back then, but in retrospect I’m ok with my mom’s choice in not allowing us celebrate Halloween.  Now that I have a little one, I have to make my own decisions as a mom too.  I used to say that I would carry on the Jamaican way.  But that was before having my daughter, who happens to be an American like her dad.

He grew up with all the classic American traditions including Halloween.  His mom made sure the house was decked out with all the Halloween decorations.  She also had enough candy for all the trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood, and often brought her son to the pumpkin patch.

His childhood was obviously the complete opposite of mine.  With Halloween around the corner, I’ve been back and forth with whether or not I want to celebrate with my little Princess.  This is actually her second Halloween.  Her daddy and I dressed her up as a pumpkin last year, but she pretended to sleep the whole time.

Now that she’s a little older maybe she’ll be into it a little more.  I bought this cute costume (pictured below).  I’m not sure what it is, but I’m guessing it’s a fairy.  Let me know, if you think otherwise.

We don’t plan on taking her trick-or-treating.  But, she’ll be attending a Halloween themed party.  We’ll also hang out at home and give candy to the kids.  I’ll even dress her up!  As far as Halloween decorations, I haven’t mastered that just yet.  I do plan on getting a few simple things to put in our window.

We also made our way to the pumpkin patch.  I can’t say it was a problem free day though.  She was bit cranky at times.  But you can tell by these cute pics of Princess that she did have fun, even though it was a crazy day.  I didn’t realize that pumpkin picking involved a lot of walking.  Next time we’ll have to bring along a wagon or stroller.

It was a first for Princess and me.  We may have had a few hiccups along the way, but Princess had tons of fun!  As you can see, she had fun posing with the pumpins.  We also enjoyed a nice family hay ride with grandma.

We have yet to decorate or carve our pumpkins.  In the meantime, my hubby decided to put them in our bay window.  Hey, we have to take baby steps.  We’ll slowly work our way to decking these bad boys out!

Princess is only one year old, and she won’t remember this day.  But, she’ll be able to see how much funshe had after viewing these pics.  I’m in no way rejecting my Jamaican heritage.  Instead I choose to give my daughter the opportunity to embrace her American culture.  There’s no reason why we can’t appreciate both.  

I’m happy knowing that my baby girl gets to experience what Halloween is all about.  Please share how you plan to celebrate Halloween with your little kiddos!

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