Holiday and Traditions

This week is a holiday week in our home, as it is for so many in the US. But for us, it’s a double-holiday on the same day, Victoria turns Six on the 25th. This is part and parcel of life for us since her birth, with her being born the evening before Thanksgiving Day, her birthday is right smack on Thanksgiving every few years, and right before or right after depending on the placement of the last Thursday of November. Not only that then, exactly one month to the day later, it’s Christmas Day. So Victoria’s birthday is a count-down-beginning time of sorts in our household.

I’ve felt bad for birthday people born around Christmas … it’s tough. I know of people born much closer of course, and Victoria, on “schedule” would have been born the first week of December. Oh, the feel bad and tough part is only how the whole year is empty for them, and then Christmas and birthday crammed upon one little segment of the year.

Why do I feel like that? Two things remind me of it:

1. My birthday is in July and it was perfect placement, IMO all my young life. I never had to go to school on my birthday, and it was practially mid-point of the year between Christmases.

2. I know that when we have week after week of nothing fun to do outside of the house, suddenly invites and times to do something somewhere else all pop up for the same weekend or the same day, and some thing has to be turned down… if only these things would iron themselves out to not clog up one time space, but spread out a few weeks to allow liberal time to be spent at home and out doing in leisure, instead of feeling cramped and missing out on things, and whirlwinding it every so often, and total downtime the rest of the month or two until the next whirlwind time.

These two items have given me empathy for the last part of the year birthed ones. Silly, yes. Silly? No not really though. For I see how tough it is in our home to distinguish between birthday and Christmas gifts for our daughter, like she gets two stages of Christmas, a month apart. I don’t mean for it to be that way, but it’s the way it ends of feeling, for to get her something nice for her birthday and then something nice for her for Christmas is hard on the other children, I see how they see it. They can’t parse it out as adults and see that in other parts of the year THEY get that special birthday stuff. I do see it though that it’s a blank year with a birthday and Christmas just a month apart.

My desire at any rate is for this not to be an issue. Christmas has scaled down heavily in our home, and my preference is to give nice things to them throughout the year, not save up a bunch of stuff to give for Christmas and at Birthday times, and the rest of the time is just regular blah year, no gifts.

So with that said, we have had slim pickings the last few years, with last year the worst year. This year is much better, at this point, compared to last year.

Saying that, now I’ll post a link to my favorite toy shop online. We have patronized this business some and wish to do much more of it. I love the stuff this man makes. It’s really nice wood and well made, and customer service is really real.

Vermont Wooden Toys

If you are interested in well made simple nice hardwood wooden toys for boys and girls, made in America too, that’s the place. Doll cradles, and carriages, trains, planes, trucks, cars, of SO MANY SIZES! Blocks, pull carts … on and on.

We don’t have blocks from Vermont Wooden Toys, but I really would like a very large set of them. From the look of all the other toys we have gotten, his blocks look the nicest of any I’ve seen online, in catalog, or in store. We got a cart stacking tray set of blocks for Asa last Christmas, at one of the wholesale clubs, and it’s alright, but the quality is just so minimal. We sucommed to getting that for him, since we couldn’t get any blocks from VWT, pricing structure between the items being vastly different. If one can afford to spend some money on a large set of low-quality, I advise to spend that or a bit more on much less product of High quality, like at VWT. Lesson here learned. I see that cart and it’s just not interesting to me, let alone much to the children.

I like toys to be minimal in looks, nice lines, simple, wooden toys can be plain. It’s an idea that you’ll find in several educational philosophies, of which to none I subscribe, but feel akin to in many ways. Overlapping ideas, that’s all. 🙂

So it’s turkey week. We’ll have a turkey on Thursday, and I’ll probably make a Cheesecake for Victoria’s birthday cake. She’ll be thrilled about that.

We have dropped the traditions of making a certain kind of cake for b-day, and now make simple easy ones, or special gourmet ones, but not the decorated Wilton type ones anymore. Cake that is more eating-probable in our house is Cheesecake anyhow. Or carrot cake, but rarely another kind of cake. We have a small piece and no one feels much like eating it up.

So then, since Thanksgiving is exactly the day in November when a month later it’s Christmas, it brings to mind the other tradition we are starting, going to the movies as a family on Christmas Day. Last year was the first. We saw Peter Pan, opening day, and loved it. I have to do research to see what movies are playing on Christmas Day, I’m not sure if there is a debut film for families that we’d like or not.

Speaking of Peter Pan, the connection to a future movie is Neverland, about the author of Peter Pan. We are looking forward to seeing that film later. 🙂

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