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Child opening gifts

Holidays with a Toddler

Author: Kate Hayes
Published Date: Monday, January 9, 2017

At our house, we start getting ready for the holidays insanely early. My husband is a big fan of Christmas (and Halloween and Thanksgiving) and all that accompanies them. While this was not Annabel's first Christmas, last year she was too young to appreciate our enthusiasm. So this year, we loved being able to watch her enjoy all the holiday activities that we often take for granted like baking cookies and dancing to Christmas carols. Okay, there was one thing she did not like – sitting on Santa’s lap. We have the pictures to prove it! She was especially happy decorating sugar cookies, which mostly involved eating the little sprinkles off of her fingers and sharing them with the dogs.

When visitors stopped by in the days leading up to Christmas, Annabel would excitedly yammer away as she pointed at the lights and bulbs and tree branches. I am certain she was explaining how she helped Daddy decorate to surprise Mommy when she came home from work. Multiple times a day I would notice her with one hand hovering over a Christmas bulb giving herself a motivational pep talk. She would just about to touch it and then say, "No,no,no." Her developing sense of restraint didn’t stop there – she also managed to wait to open the presents under the tree which was an amazing feat for a 16-month-old.

When the big day finally arrived, Annabel had a wonderful time tearing the paper off her own gifts and handing out gifts to others so she could then help them unwrap. Tearing paper is apparently endlessly entertaining to a toddler. Although she did enjoy the unwrapping, contrary to popular opinion, she was genuinely interested in what was inside, Annabel stopped to play with every new toy she received. And she has had at least one of her “babies” (stuffed animals) with her at all times since Christmas.

I think it is safe to say that the best part of the holidays for all of us was the chance to celebrate and spend time together. Annabel loved being the center of attention, sharing sweets and presents, and having extra time and people available for snuggles and play! I am already looking forward to next year and spending the holidays with a 2-1/2-year-old.

What are some of your favorite moments from the holidays?

About Kate Hayes

About Kate  Hayes Kate Hayes lives in Virginia Beach, VA and is a first time parent to Annabel – born on July 22, 2015. Kate is a yoga and aerial fitness instructor. She especially enjoys teaching on the beach, and is certified in laughing yoga, and prenatal yoga. Kate and her husband, Robert, enjoy spending time with their daughter and their two dogs.