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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Antsy Holiday Kids

Spot the Dog by Eric Hill at
As the holidays approach kids are apt to get antsy. All that excitement and busy parents can be a recipe for a melt-down. Whenever I think of putting up a Christmas tree with young kids around, I am reminded of Spot the dog. When Artist Girl was just a wee, little thing we had a VHS video tape story of Spot the dog at Christmas. Eric Hill's stories of Spot are simple, charming, and about things kids can relate to in their own lives. For instance when Spot is helping his mom with baking cookies and putting up the tree, he gets overexcited. What is so charming about the story (I'm not 100% sure I'm picturing the right story here), is that there is no blame put on Spot. The story simply says something about the decorations creating too much excitement and Spot goes outside to burn off his energy and get out from under his mom's feet. Which brings me to talking about antsy kids...

A wise friend of mine, a mom of three, did something wonderful for me when my kids were little. Every year she would send us a package of carefully selected items, which arrived before the holidays and was always the one package we'd open right away. For several years in a row we received Christmas items in our package. One year it was Rudolph mugs, another year a very large Santa puzzle, and a third year A Charlie Brown Christmas book. Now, at first I was a little puzzled with these gifts, and maybe not terribly thankful. Nonetheless, we used each item then packed it carefully away with our holiday decorations at the end of the season. As the years have gone by, my friend's wisdom has become more and more apparent. It's tradition stupid - I was a little slow on the uptake! What fun it is each year to unpack these special items and to take a few minutes out of the holiday craziness to sit down and enjoy them. What more could you want for occupying antsy kids than a book, a puzzle and a Christmas mug full of hot chocolate?

Now my kids are pretty grown up and they are the ones putting up the tree. They aren't so antsy any more and don't need a lot of calming from holiday excitement. I am the one who gets out the puzzle, sits down to read the Christmas books, and indulges in a little nostalgia. What multipurpose gifts our kind friend provided :-)

Brought to you by - with Christmas titles from Usborne and Christmas sets from Usborne


Janet said...

I have ALWAYS been antsy at Christmas. I love all the decorating and stuff. So far the only traditions we've managed to establish are cookie decorating and Advent calendars. But the kids are getting bigger and more interested in doing stuff.

Alison said...

Traditions are fun, aren't they? Strangely enough I never heard the idea of traditions discussed until I came to the USA. Sure, we had a tree every year when I was growing up, but that was about it. I can't say I'm very big on traditions compared to some families, but I have given effort to deliberately creating some. I'd like to post some links related to this when I get the time and energy. We have a pet that spent several hours at the vet today so it's been a bit hectic.

Lindab said...

It's never too late to start! Interestingly I find that now that my children are in their later teens,especially my son who will be away at university next year, they are more excited about Christmas again and keen to have traditions.

(And I loved the Spot books too!)

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