Monday, January 14, 2013

We're Saving their First Christmas for Next Time

Welcome to the January 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: 
Recovering from the Holidays
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about how their families get back to normal after the holidays are over.


It’s a beautiful day in Aberdeen, Scotland.  It’s December 25, and the sun is out for a few hours, warming it up to about 45 degrees--today is a perfect day for our first family walk in our new neighborhood.  The twins are bundled up in their plush pram suits and we push them along in the double stroller.  A few times around the block and we head home, passing houses with strings of lights and Christmas trees or menorahs in the windows.   We reach our house, number 6, and there are no lights.  We go inside and the halls are not decked with anything, unless you count the moving boxes containing everything from old college textbooks to running shoes to spare toothbrushes still in their packaging.

I might blame it on the jet lag, or the sleep deprivation that comes with new babies, or on the fact that I didn’t leave the house for pretty much the first two months after the babies were born, but I just never got the “Christmas-y” feeling this year.  There has always been something to stress out about.  2012 really took it out of me! It may have been the twins' first calendar Christmas, but we had too much going on for us to make a big deal of it.

The big changes are simmering down, now.  The planned ones, anyway.  I am excited for nothing—nothing to plan for, nothing to stress about.  So we didn’t have a Christmas tree or make ornaments with the babies’ footprints on them.  So what?  I am ready to relax and live instead of stress and plan.  To have a routine, to notice little things and celebrate those, like yesterday when my babes held hands for the first time.  

This year, “Christmas” and even the “holiday season” have meant something completely different to my husband and me.  Instead of gift exchanges and Christmas cards, we Skype with faraway family and are learning to do this parenting thing on our own.  We unpack boxes and try to make our home in between the feedings and playtimes of two three-month olds who never seem to be on the same schedule.  This new year is a new beginning like no other!  We have welcomed our beautiful babies into the world and we now live in a new country with new roles to play.  As we settle into these surroundings, it feels like “the start of the rest of your life” more than any other time I have experienced and I’m happy to live it one day at a time.  

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama
Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting this March!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon January 14 with all the carnival links.)
  • Pinterest Inspiration for Easier Winter Holidays Shannon, writing at Natural Parents Network, shares inspiration for having more relaxed winter holidays from their Handmade Holidays Pinterest board.
  • Seven Recipes for Beans - Post Holiday Cleaning — Destany at They Are All of Me shares her favorite bean recipes that she hopes will help her body recover from overindulging her sweet tooth during the holidays.
  • The Recovery in the Change — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen made changes in her life and attitude throughout 2012 and was pleasantly surprised at how those changes impacted her holiday recovery!
  • Could this question change your life for ever? — To get your new year off on the right footing, Mrs Green of Little Green Blog is challenging us all to love ourselves with commitment and discipline. She asks you to focus on a simple question which might just bring you back in balance...
  • Holiday Recovery — Meegs at A New Day talks about how the holidays can be overwhelming for a toddler, and how she's helping her 3 year old recover.
  • 5 Ways to Detox After the Holidays — Brittany at The Pistachio Project gives a few ways to help you detox and get back on track after the holiday season has passed.
  • 3 Simple Ways to Establishing Rhythm After the Holidays or Any Time — Sheila at A Living Family shares 3 simple ways to reestablish a rhythm of connection and calm in your family after holidays, visitors, travel or any time.
  • Gemstones For Holiday Hangoverss — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama delves into the power of gemstones as an often overlooked means of dealing with the holiday letdown.
  • Getting back to Healthy — Bess at A Warrior Mom talks about the struggle of getting young ones back to eating healthy after several days to weeks of getting more candy and sweets than normal for the holidays and gives some suggestions on how to get them back to eating healthy in the new year.
  • Post Christmas Juice Feast — Sam at Love Parenting explains why she has created a new tradition of juice feasting, and how she includes her toddler when detoxing.
  • The Java Monkey On My Back — Christy at Eco Journey in the Burbs realizes it is time to kick her cup of Joe habit as a first step toward detoxing.
  • Minimalist Holidays — Jorje of Momma Jorje doesn't find much need for recovery after her minimalist version of the holidays.
  • Do something for you — Lauren at Hobo Mama urges you to find a silly and indulgent reward of me-time — and she has hers.
  • do we recover? — Kenna at Million Tiny Things wonders what recovery really means in the context of the tragedies of this past holiday season.
  • 37 Easy Ways to Save Money — Shannon at GrowingSlower is sharing these money-saving tips to help get your budget back on track after the holidays.
  • A Two Year Old's ResolutionsThat Mama Gretchen is putting the holidays behind her with a spin on traditional resolutions — New Year's goals for her two-year-old! Sound crazy? Read on for an explanation!
  • How to Find Balance after the Holidays — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells her favorite ways to start a new year with hope and calmness.
  • Fresh Awakening — For Luschka at Diary of a First Child, the new year has coincided with a return to restful nights. With sleep, she's found new directions in life, but while she can't make too many changes to her life right now, she's inspired and excited about the future.
  • Learning to slow down after a busy Festive Season Stoneageparent describes the joys and lows of this year's festive season, as well as her New Year's resolutions.
  • Detoxing' Your Toddler After the Holidays — Does your family suffer side effects from the holidays? Join Christine from African Babies Don't Cry to learn how she detoxed herself and her toddler off the treats and festivities of the season.
  • Scheduling is OK! — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep explores the possibilities of the — SCHEDULE!!
  • We're Saving their First Christmas for Next Time — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot takes it easy after moving with her husband and new babies to Scotland.
  • A Vacation from the World — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children retreats with her family at the end of every year in order to recuperate and enjoy one another.
  • On the Road to Recovery — Dionna at Code Name: Mama isn't just recovering from the holidays, she's recovering from a lifestyle.
  • We Never Left the GrindErika Gebhardt compares a typical day pre-holidays and post-holidays.
  • Remembering and Recovering from the Holidays (One day at a time) — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM is recovering from holidays slowly--taking one day at a time--while trying to remember all the sweet moments that passed too quickly.
  • 5 a Day — To get back on track Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy needed a simple system to help her family learn new values.
  • Holiday Detox & Healing: Bieler Broth — Megan at The Boho Mama shares her secret for a gentle, whole-foods-based post-holiday detox: Bieler Broth!
  • I'm Mama Not Supermom — After a year filled with changes Angela at EarthMamas World has to remind herself that she does not have to be supermom while recovering from the holiday chaos.


  1. Hi Mercedes, great blog and brings back some memories although not twins daughter is now 18 and my son 21, enjoy them well you can, it may not seem like it but the time really does go very quickly, my kids have given me memories that i will treasure for ever and continue to do so

    1. Thanks again, Mike! It's crazy how it goes by so fast. And it's only been three and a half months!

  2. Oh mama, that picture of the babes holding hands is squee-worthy :) I think your version of the holidays sounds pretty perfect!

    1. Dionna, they're just starting to notice each other more and more. It's such a treat to watch! Thanks for reading.

  3. We can out a lot of unneeded pressure on ourselves to do things perfectly. Stepping back and just enjoying the moment is much better for our health and joy. Congratulation son your family and for your new beginnings!

    1. Thank you! We are slowly but surely growing more accustomed to this new life we have made for ourselves! Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

  4. I love the pictures, and I love the idea of taking their first Christmas in your own way, on your own terms - that's the way it should be!

  5. That totally makes sense! I was still in babymoon mode at 3 months, so I would totally support "skipping" Christmas. They'll enjoy it more next year, anyway — more wrapping paper to rip and chew! :)

  6. I think you did just the right thing!! Our girls are three years apart to the day (no, we didn't plan it that way!) and for our first daughter's Christmas we stayed with my parents and didn't do anything at our own place (no tree, no decorations). You're right, save it for next year. It will be so much more enjoyable for you all! Congratulations to you and daddy. The babies are beautiful!!

    1. Thank you, Emily! Yeah, this year should be more *fun* come Christmas-time!

  7. That's so sweet! I have always been curious how moms of multiples juggle two babies of the same age at once. It sounds hectic but that you are handling it well :-) Love your style!


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