A Happy Happy Holiday

Little boy in front of Christmas tree. Happy Holiday 2017

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a very happy holiday season. If you read my last post on Destin 30A Moms Blog, you know that we approached the holidays a bit differently. If you didn’t catch that post, you can read it here. Well I am happy to report that Hayden had his best Christmas yet!

I think the big turning point for him was his Christmas program.

Like I mentioned in my Moms Blog post, we built up his program the whole week leading up to it. We talked with him about being brave and what a strong boy he was to try so hard. His behavior at practice improved, and he loved telling us “I brave” and “I try” when we picked him up. He was so proud of himself afterwards! He really seemed to understand that he had faced a fear and done something major.

After his school program. I’m not sure who is beaming more?!

Fast forward a couple of days and it’s like we have a totally different kid. His talking skyrocketed and he was more willing to try new things. Even the way he was played with his toys changed. We talked every day about the holidays and what we had planned, which helped him adjust when things got chaotic. We’ve always talked to him a lot, but we’re finally getting some feedback to see how much he’s taking in and understanding.

There is a huge difference in his excitement and his ability to adapt when we can talk through everything beforehand.

Hayden likes his schedule, so we tend to keep things around the house pretty calm and predictable. I love a good schedule and that works for us, but the normal routine gets shaken up around the holidays. He ends up overwhelmed and we have to let him decompress in his room before he can rejoin the party. We still had to do a little bit of that, but nowhere near as much as years past.

Something else that was new for him was baking Christmas cookies.

We tried this when he was two and he had a total meltdown. It didn’t help that he was in his physical therapy stander and couldn’t see, but we tried. This year was MUCH better. We opted for pre-made dough and let him help with the cookie cutters. He wasn’t sure about the cookie cutters at first, but he warmed up and even got his hands in the dough! The worst part was making him understand that the cookies we set out for Santa that night weren’t for him. He was very confused on why we would put cookies on HIS plate, where HE could reach them, and NOT let him have any. I think he decided at that point that this whole Santa thing was for the birds. #meanmom #futureassholeparentingpost

One of the holiday tricks I talked about in my Moms Blog post was changing up our gift wrapping.

We wrapped the big things that would be easy for him to unwrap, but we put the other items in bags and left his Santa presents unwrapped. We also let him unwrap at his own speed, and that made a huge difference. He opened a couple of presents and then played while we opened ours and drank semi-hot coffee (Merry Christmas to me). This kid was opening presents for days! This was also the first holiday that he really liked a lot of his presents. In previous years, there have been maybe one or two that he was really excited about after warming up to them, but he’s had a lot of fun so far with everything right out of the gate.

All in all, it was the best Christmas we’ve ever had. Hayden had a blast, which obviously made it more fun for us. It was so encouraging to see him enjoy Christmas like any other kid and it was a much less stressful holiday as a whole. How was Christmas with your little ones? Did you try any new holiday traditions? I’d love to hear about it so leave me a comment!

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If you need a cute holiday DIY decorating project, this yard decoration is so fun!

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