Family traditions - making our own this Christmas - MetroFamily Magazine
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Family traditions – making our own this Christmas

by Callie Collins

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

Oklahoma City family fun is all about red and green this month! Christmas events are everywhere right now; we're making our lists and checking them twice to provide all the details you need to plan for a memorable holiday season. Here are our latest additions: 

There's something social about the Christmas season that prompts me to reach out for a sense of community. That connection is reinforced by lights displays and holiday decorations on otherwise solemn-looking brownstones and local public works buildings. The sparkle of brightly-colored presents and the joy they seem to promise glints from every store window. Every year, I marvel at other people's dedication to the season, whether in spirit or through their actions. December feels like a time for children and adults too seem to remember, if only for this short period each year, that it's a wonderful life. Instilling that wonder in my own sons is now part of the agenda.  

Traditions abound and it's time we establish some of our own. My husband is far away from his parents and extended relatives in Costa Rica, so we've had to decide what's important to our comparatively small family of four-going-on-five people. We eat Christmas tamales, uses FaceTime on the iPad and try to make the best of it but that sense of community is what really gets us through this time of nostalgia. I'm sure a lot of people feel this way as they dream of being home for Christmas.

I'm already looking at all that MetroFamily's calendar features this month to keep us cheerful and focused outside of ourselves. Now is the time to make the most of some fabulous holiday events going on right here in Central Oklahoma. There's a sense of urgency in our family this year too that goes beyond all the usual holiday bustle: we need to see all that we can before our third child is born in January. After that, we'll naturally stay inside for awhile. We're a family of four for the last time this Christmas.  

I've outlined some general themes of what we want to do. It's difficult to narrow down where we want to spend our time, even as free events make cost a non-issue at many sites. There's just so much to choose from right now! 

See holiday lightsI have discovered that having everyone in the car can be a form of quality time. Sure, it's a means to an end on our way somewhere but also a time without screens, toys or other distractions. No one's making a mess, it's warm and the confines of car and booster seats force Sam and Isaac to keep their hands to themselves. There's also nothing better than looking back in the dark from the front passenger seat and seeing the colored lights glow in their eyes. They take it all in with that sense of wonder, which isn't easily replicated. "Look! It's decorated!," my toddler invariably calls out at every single stop. Sam isn't too old either to enjoy it at age 7, so we'll try to see as many of these sites as possible.

Visit a truly memorable Santa: Our experience with Santa Claus is limited. The Baby Jesus brings the presents in Costa Rica so Sam and Isaac have a variety of theories on where their Christmas presents come from exactly. We've seen Santa at the mall all of twice so I'd like to find something a bit less commercial. I've heard that Bass Pro has a great Santa's Wonderland and that Saturdays with Santa at Myriad Botanical Gardens is worth attending but there are many great choices on this list, including options like Breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the Skirvin. We'll let you know what we find out about where to find a neat experience. 

Watch "The Nutcracker:" Sam chose to read "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" by E.T.A. Hoffman recently and I was surprised at how much he enjoyed the lengthy but classic original. I'd love to take him to see Devon Energy's presentation at Civic Center Music Hall. It brings the Oklahoma City Ballet together with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and looks like something just he and I could enjoy as a mom-and-son outing. 

Volunteer together: I wrote a post in November about why volunteering is important. December is also an ideal time to extend the season's prevailing sense of community into something productive. MetroFamily's list of volunteer opportunities can be found here.

Enjoy Christmas Eve: We'll make cookies and go out for hot chocolate. Talk about Santa and the Baby Jesus. Miss family. Talk to family. Eat dinner at midnight. Go to bed and hope for dreams of sugar plums or at least memories of all that we've done during our last Christmas as four instead of five. 

If you know of a can't-miss holiday event, email We'll try to get out and see it too! 


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