I have a confession to make, today I played Christmas music. And I enjoyed it. I mean for most of the world this would mean nothing. It's after Thanksgiving, so the Christmas season can begin. But its not even Advent yet and I try so hard to not play Christmas music till at least after the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th. While I'm not going to decorate until the 8th, I kind of have been letting myself get a little into the Christmas spirit already. I think its a good thing too, because a lot of times I'm too hard on myself keeping to my ideals and not straying from them except for rare occasions.
However, the best bit of all this letting the early Christmas culture infiltrate me is that I can teach my almost 3 year old about Jesus more. I can explain to him that the lights on the houses are to celebrate Jesus being born. I can tell him simply that Christmas is Jesus' birthday. I can really start to get into the faith aspect of Christmas this year with him because he just grasps things a lot better than he did before.
Christmastime holds a lot of traditions, a lot of which I think our little family is still figuring out. There are things that I grew up with that I loved, like gingerbread house making and St. Nicholas Day. I didn't grow up Catholic, so in a lot of other things I feel like I am trailblazing, like the emphasis on Epiphany and such. Other things I have had to come to terms with that I can't just cut out like I would like to, Santa will not be going away, but we can learn who Santa really was and understand more about what it is to be a Saint.
I have learned to pray two things for my boys (and hopefully future children). 1.) that they learn to love God, growing strong in him and 2.) that they know that they always have each other. I think this Christmas spirit thing, while a little early on the calendar still being in November yet, is helping me to see those lifelong prayers carried out, and for that I am thankful.