Growing up, Christmas was a huge deal in our household. There were tons of presents (too many, really), lots of food (too much of that, too), and a house full of over-the-top, loud, lovely relatives (can never have too many of those). Christmases were always some of my fondest and most cherished childhood memories. Tomorrow, my almost 11-month-old daughter, Avery, and I will board a plane to head to Texas to see my parents and have a belated Christmas experience with many of Avery’s cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. This will be my first time flying alone with her. Damon is heading north to Montana for a guys’ ski trip.
But today, we had a much lower-key family Christmas… Just the three of us. Dad, mom and baby. This is Avery’s first Christmas. Unlike a lot of parents, we didn’t go all out and buy a million gifts for her. She’s too young to understand and is more interested in the boxes and wrapping paper anyway.
As she gets older, we will likely buy her a couple more presents (she got two from us this year). I never want to lose the true meaning of Christmas by giving into the materialistic expectations of American society. In fact, instead of a ton of presents, we will likely give Avery the gift of experiences in the Christmases to come. We will take her on vacations, and as soon as she gets old enough, we will let her pick out the destinations.
Well, first, she got a walker, since we are still working on that whole learning to walk thing. And then she got a map of the world floor puzzle. At this age, she will probably just chew on the foam pieces and likely lose a couple. In fact, we spent a good thirty minutes this morning looking for a piece of Antarctica that broke off and somehow made its way into the dog’s water bowl. (It kind of looked like Antarctica was melting… Dang, global warming.) But hopefully, this gift will help Avery learn about the world and foster a global mentality at a very early age.
To our friends, family, readers, and fellow travel enthusiasts, Merry Christmas from Damon, Melissa and our global baby, Avery!