A friend of mine sends the best Christmas card. There's the requisite family photo and the holiday wish. But there's also a sheet of printer paper, folded in sixths. It's a list of the memorable conversations she had with her kids that year. I always open it with anticipation, and we always laugh out loud. Here are a couple for you:
Dad to daughter: "We need to leave at 4 p.m. to drive in to Seattle. I want to show you off to all my friends from 20 years ago."
Daughter: "They're still alive?"
After a week of doing dishes as punishment...
Son: "I used to think of the sink as just a hole in the counter. Now I see it as pure evil."
Dad: "Really? I was hoping that looking at it now would make you think ‘I should always tell my parents the truth.'"
Son: "OK... you're overweight."
Dad: (Glares at son)
Mom: "You walked right into that one!"
I bet my friend has just as much fun thinking about the year and writing up the list as I do reading it.
Over the past month, my husband and I have been thinking about the holiday traditions we'd like our little family to have. What will our daughter grow up to remember and be comforted by? My husband appreciates his mom's green-bean casserole every year at Thanksgiving. I love that my mom bought a Christmas ornament for each year of my life, and it always feels special to decorate the tree with them. (Minus the one from the year I was 3 years old, which my 3-year-old just broke.) My daughter's school lights candles before meals. I think we'll borrow that tradition for ourselves.
And I'd like to borrow my friend's funny Christmas card tradition. Let's make it a year-end tradition among us, my dear readers.
What's the most memorable conversation you had with a child this year? Share it in the comments below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll share the responses, including mine and other Zero to Five parents', in my next post.