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Deck the halls

December is here and it is the official start of the holiday season.  It's so crazy to think that the new year is just around the corner and my daughter is closer to her first birthday than she is to the day she was born.  It got me thinking about holiday traditions and how we're going to incorporate them into our new family of three.

Going to see Santa.  I have a picture of me when I was about three years old sitting on Santa's lap.  I wasn't crying but I didn't look happy about it. I thought I'd be much more excited about Sofia's first Christmas but I don't know if we're going to take Sofia to see Santa this year or not.  Honestly, the only thing I can think about are the lines at the mall and I find myself internally negotiating.  How bad of a parent am I if I don't get the picture with Santa because I don't want to wait in line?  Is it okay if we skip the first year because she won't remember it anyway?  I'm telling myself it is.

Decorating the house.  Last year we got a beautiful tree and my husband and I put a lot of time and effort into decorating it and it was such a joy to see it when we got home every night.  This year, we're going to be out of town for the last two weeks of the year and if we get a tree at this point, we'll only enjoy it as a family for a week since my husband travels so much for work.  Again, I'm wondering if I'm the biggest grinch if we skip it this year.

Christmas cards.  This one I feel lots of pressure to participate in because it's our first year with a baby.  We've already started receiving them and I really feel like I should make the effort and send out cards.  We got family portraits done a few weeks ago and the photo sites make it so easy to print cards, it's practically a shame not to.  However, did I mention that my husband travels for work and we're going to be out of town?  If I'm going to do it, I have about a week to get it together.

Christmas shopping.  Shopping gives me great pause because now, any shopping I do must be done with a baby.  A couple of weeks ago she started crawling which means she wants nothing to do with her carseat, stroller or any other device that keeps her immobile.  Shopping is hectic without adding an energetic baby to the mix but I'm going to be strong and get it done because gift-giving is my favorite part!  As much as I don't like fighting the crowds, I'll hit the stores early and during the week and just maybe I'll make it out alive!

The holidays can be hectic and stressful and when all the daily tasks must still be completed, it's easy to forget that none of it is a requirement and my child won't remember this time.  As parents of an infant, we still have time before we have to stat hiding presents in the garage or leaving cookies out for Santa.    As much as I'm looking forward to those days, I'm content in the knowledge that for now, we're still off the hook.