Holidays with eleven kids - Episode Two - Dress the Part?
The table was set with the finest china, and yet we were often wearing just whatever. Mom always dressed the part but never forced us to do the same.
Maybe her attitude goes back to when my eldest brother was a baby. She took him to his first checkup with the pediatrician. Stuart was wearing a fantastic little outfit. As my mother put him down the doctor looked at her, "Huntley, he is uncomfortable, babies need to move, to play, to feel good. Don't dress him like this." She told me years later. "Here I was trying so hard, and I failed. I felt awful but every since that day I made sure you were comfy."
This attitude spawned through our teen years. She changed her wording by then and it was less about comfort and more about us finding ourselves. I often heard her say to other parents, "Pick your battles. Don't worry if they show up not matching or with wet hair."
The crazy thing is, I remember Thanksgiving as being stress-free. We ate until we had to unbutton our pants, played outside and just hung out. A day off.
Whatever your holiday might be, whatever your culture don't forget...pick your battles. What your children are wearing shouldn't matter that much. Even if they choose to wear worn out red converse with a black velvet dress and a torn up jean jacket...It doesn't matter. Let them experiment...even during the Holidays. Who cares if you get a silly picture. I know there are quite a few pictures of me with the most ridiculous haircuts.
–Allison Ochs, Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife