This past summer was the first time Ella and I attempted a bucket list. It was a fun experience, but I think that’s because we did things a little bit differently.
Usually, bucket lists are are ambitious and can leave parents feeling like they failed to give their children an awesome season/year/childhood.
For us, I decided to incorporate a lot of little rituals and pleasures, the kinds that involve little preparation, no special materials, and can be squeezed in when you only have a few flexible moments in a day. While I admire the parents who are trying to give big magical childhoods to their children (I am a Pinterest Parent, after all), I knew that would just be too much pressure, so I limited my list to 30 ideas to cover over 3 months, and only 5 were really “big” list items.
For our Advent Calendar, we will do a combination of small gifts, activities, and crafts, so we can slowly ease into our bucket list. (And often, the small gifts can transform into bucket list-worthy activities!)
I look at our bucket list as a list of reminders and “I love you rituals;” a combination of things that I want to have done during my daughter’s childhood, while also looking for lots of opportunities to connect and spend quality time together.
Sometimes, when you are going through the day to day tasks of being a parent, something makes you stop and realize that your child doesn’t know what happens when you combine baking soda and vinegar together, or has never made a gingerbread house, or has never heard Christmas music outside of a store setting. It’s so easy to overlook these non-essential parts of being a child that many of us have taken for granted, and when we realize what we have overlooked, it’s so easy to feel guilty about not providing these experiences.
And that is why I love bucket lists. I love the feeling of knowing that I gave my daughter a simple childhood memory every time I check something off. I love knowing that I went above and beyond my required duties, even if it was just making a cup of tea and cuddling while looking at our Christmas tree.
What’s on your Winter Bucket List?