Oklahoma City family fun changes right along with us.
MetroFamily's publisher, Sarah Taylor, asked us staffers recently what we had learned since coming to work at MetroFamily, which begins its 20th year in 2018. I'll have been here five years in the spring and one thing that still stands out to me is the diversity of families. We see foster families, adoptive families, families who have children with different abilities and interests.
Difference of opinion rules the internet and there's no one right way to do anything when it comes to parenting. What we have in common, though, as parents, is this underlying sense of goodwill. I haven't met yet a parent yet who wasn't genuinely trying, striving to find resources for a child and make the best of it all day in and day out.
The holidays bring that out in parents too. We all want the joy. We all want the magic. And the best for them.
The way it comes wrapped is different in every household, though, it seems. At my house, we're having a sugar-free (because this has been the year of dental emergencies and diabetes) and largely toy-free Christmas. That isn't every family's approach because it's just not what's needed.
This is the first year I've noticed a calendar event for a Sensory Santa Evening at Myriad Botanical Gardens. It's this Friday, Dec. 15 and features a welcoming environment for children who might otherwise be bothered by loud music and other sensory stimuli. That's not a particular need for anyone in our family right now but almost everyone knows someone at school, at church or within extended family who could really love attending events like that.
I'm so happy to see more of them because diversity shouldn't just be centered on ethnicity. Our community is better when we can all participate and my kids learn from meeting others that aren't just like them.
If you're planning to take your kids to visit Santa, here's the full list of local experiences.
I don't know yet if we'll do a North Pole visit. Honestly, I Googled a number online a few weeks ago and my younger children, ages 2 and 5, were pretty happy to leave Santa a voicemail once I explained what an answering machine is. They wrote cards and I pretended to mail those. It just isn't something they're asking to go do this year but that could change.
This morning at school. my oldest son participated in Las Posadas, a tradition of prayer and reflective reading inspired by Mary and Joseph visiting the different inns. It involves food and sharing traditions. I dropped off a slow-cooker of gallo pinto, a traditional rice and beans breakfast, extra early before school for his classmates. Sam put on a shepherd's costume and prepared to read a report about the culture and history of Christmas in Costa Rica, his other country.
I think that will be the highlight of his holiday season.
Diversity is a great thing and we're all trying. It just looks different on everyone.
No matter how you plan to spend the holidays, there are events that celebrate all the community has to offer and that's really beautiful. You can find them all at MetroFamily's website right now.
There's peace in that, the real meaning of this season. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night, no matter how you celebrate.