Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wet Socks and Presents

Welcome to the December 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Childhood Memories
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about memories of growing up — their own or the ones they’re helping their children create. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

The first thing that came to mind when thinking about childhood memories are the ones I have of this time of year when I was a kid.

I have such cherished and special memories of my childhood Christmases and I can only hope and pray that when my kids are grown up they can look back on their early years with the same fondness.

One particular memory I have is from when I was about 8 or 9 years old. Growing up my parents didn't have a lot of extra cash floating around, so we lived a very frugal and modest lifestyle. In addition to our family's financial matters, my parents also had certain ideas about what Christmas should be...so there was never a real focus on the whole Santa thing. For our family, it was more about spending time together, giving each other unique and meaningful gifts, usually handmade, and there was always this air of excitement and closeness. Yes, my brother and I did also like the presents, but we weren't obsessed with the whole thing. My brother and I also used to organize little shows for our parents, were we would sing carols or read something holiday themed. Snow was also a very wished for event. We didn't really get a lot of snow where we grew up, so when we did have a white Christmas it was so magical.

So, this one particular winter day, my mom sent my brother and I out to play in the snow (yay!). We were all bundled up and having so much fun in our backyard. Eventually we got tired and a little cold, and our socks got wet so we plodded back to our front door, and to our surprise our mom said, "go and play for just a few more minutes..it's so nice out!" "But our socks are wet!"

No bother, kids are kids and we kept on having fun. After a few minutes our mom called us back in and she had a look of excitement and mischief in her eyes. Within a few seconds of entering the living room, we knew why.

There in the middle of the floor were two boxes filled to the brim with all sorts of presents! Toys, clothes, puzzles, coloring books, art supplies..so much goodness!

It wasn't Christmas day, in fact it was about a week and a half before Dec 25, but my parents being totally unconventional decided for some reason to have "Christmas" on their own designated day. It was fun. My brother and I played and played surrounded by our parents and grandparents (my mom's parents, who lived with us). Over the next few days, and months, we created more and more games and ways to enjoy our new goodies. We hadn't had presents the year before, and during the year my parents didn't really buy us stuff, unless we really needed it, like clothes and the like, so this was truly a special treat which we savoured.

So I guess that memory for me tells me of my parents sacrifice, the importance they played on emphasizing family time instead of just the whole giving of presents, and of making gift-giving a special thing.

Nowadays, we are such a consumerist society. If we need something, we usually get it, right then and there. We don't really have to wait for a certain day, unless we choose to. While my family does like doing the Santa thing with our kids, I do think there is something magical about making thoughtful and mindful gift-giving a special thing.

I hope that in years to come my kids have a happy, long-lasting memory which makes them feel warm and fuzzy, like this memory does for me.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
  • Childhood Memories of Peace, Support, Joy, and Love — Amber at Heart Wanderings wants to make sure the majority of the memories that her children have as a part of their family are ones that are positive and help support the amazing people that they are now and will become as adults.
  • Hand Made Baby Books — Destany at They Are All of Me talks about why baby books are important to her for preserving memories of her childrens first years, and shows how she made one by hand for each child.
  • Can your childhood memories help you keep your cool?Here's To A Boring Year uses memories of being a child to keep her on the path to peaceful parenting.
  • Inter-Generational Memories {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs at A New Day talks about her own childhood memories, and what she hopes her daughter will remember in the future.
  • Snapshots — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings reflects on the ways our childhood memories appear to us, and hopes her own daughter's childhood will be one she remembers as being happy and fulfilled.
  • What makes the perfect parent? — In a guest post on Natural Parents Network, Mrs Green from Little Green Blog reflects on camp follow and camp no-follow...
  • In My Own Handwriting — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen talks about her journals and the hope that they will be able to keep her stories alive even if she isn't able to.
  • Candlelight, fairylight, firelight — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud re-discovers the ingredients for bringing magic to life, especially at Christmas.
  • Making Memories (or) How We Celebrate Christmas — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis talks about creating new memories at Christmas, and the joy their adventures bring to her whole family.
  • The Importance of Recording Feelings and Emotions and Not Just the Experience — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares why she puts pen to paper every day to record more than just her experiences as a mother and her daughter's experiences as a child. Jennifer looks at the importance of capturing feelings and emotions that accompany the experience.
  • Dredged up — Kenna at Million Tiny Things has been forced to recount childhood memories at bedtime, due to the failure of her middle-aged imagination. She resists, of course.
  • Crafting Memories — Handmade is what makes the holidays special for Christy at Eco Journey In the Burbs, and she wants to create the same connection with her daughters that she remembers with her mother and grandmother.
  • My Childhood Memories; beacons of light in the darkness Stone Age Parent shares the impact of her childhood memories on her life as a parent today, listing some of her many rich childhood memories and how they now act as beacons of light helping her in the complex, often confusing world of child-rearing.
  • 10 Ways I Preserve Memories for My Children — From video interviews to time capsules, Dionna at Code Name: Mama wants to make sure her children have many different ways to cherish their childhood memories. Dionna's carnival post features ten of the ways she preserves memories; check out her Pinterest board for more ideas.
  • Memories of my mother — Luschka at Diary of a First Child remembers her mother and the fondest moments of her childhood, especially poignant as she sits by her mother's sickbed writing.
  • Creating Happy Childhood Memories through Family Traditions — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells why family traditions are so important to her and her family and shares how she’s worked to create traditions for her children.
  • Traditional Christmas Tree — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep remembers the great times spent with her family driving for the Christmas Tree and the lessons learned.
  • Wet Socks and Presents — Kat at MomeeeZen writes about her favorite Christmas childhood memory and why it's so special. And she hopes one day her kids will also have a feel-good memory of their own to look back on.
  • Stuff does not equal memories — Lauren at Hobo Mama learns that letting go does not mean failing to remember.
  • A Child's Loss- Will They Remember Dad? — Erica at ChildOrganics writes about their family's loss of their husband and father. She trys to find answers to the question: Will they remember their Dad?
  • Childhood Memories - Hers and Mine — Jorje of Momma Jorje wished for her daughter the same passions and experiences she loved as a child, but learns the hard way to accept whatever passions strike in her child.
  • Holiday Non-TraditionsErika Gebhardt enjoys her family's tradition of not having traditions for the holidays.


  1. Thank you for sharing such a sweet memory! I like that you remind us that presents are about the meaning and not the items themselves :-)

  2. Such a sweet memory :) We are in a more comfortable place financially than our parents were, but I *still* want gifts and holidays to be a awe-filled time. We try to emphasize time together over material things, we also love creating gifts ourselves.
    (Of course as I write this, Kieran is playing with his birthday present - a store bought Lego toy ;) It's a work in progress!)

  3. That is so sweet! I love the idea of a guerilla Christmas. :) It's a testament to your parents' raising of you that you saw it as such a special thing and used it all to make new family connections and fun.

  4. Your parents sound awesome, and have you memories without giving a lot of "stuff." That gives me hope, as we're embracing that right now.

  5. What a great memory! I love the focus on the family and not on the presents. Awesome.

  6. What a wonderful memory! My parents were divorced, so holidays were rather split. Because of this, we had a tradition of opening gifts early at my mom's place.


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