PARENTING Parenting TRADITIONS & RECIPES

What is it about family pajamas?

What’s the appeal of family pajamas anyway?

I don’t think we’re a family pajamas kind of family.  Don’t get me wrong — we love each other, we laugh, we argue, we endure, we vacation, we snuggle, we play, we explore.  In different outfits.

When we do professional family photos, we tend to be somewhat coordinated, but never matchy matchy.  Is it because we all have our own preferences and personalities?  Is it just the aesthetic we prefer?  Is it easier?  Is it because we battle about wearing “nice pants” enough as it is, and it’s not worth it to aim for the same nice pants across this whole family of 5?

Despite typically not choosing to be matchy matchy, I admit that every year when I see the ads come out showing families in matching pajamas, I smile.  I secretly (or not so secretly) laugh when people post pictures of their families in these silly PJs or even pose in them for their holiday card photo and mail it to hundreds of people they know – I mean, shouldn’t it be something for your eyes only in your house?  Do you normally post pics of yourself in pjs?  What makes you feel so compelled to do so just because they’re cute and you all look like happily decorated festive cookies cut from the same cookie cutter?

But I see those ads and those holiday cards, and I WANT family pajamas.  Maybe it’s like in the olden days when there were supposedly subliminal messages in ads at movie theaters, brainwashing you into buying more popcorn and soda.  Maybe these ads reach out to me with all their sweet cuteness, all their perfect-family-ness, and force me to “add to cart” and input my credit card number and select the speediest shipping option available.

Maybe it’s me trying to hold onto the memories of when my boys were younger and I could easily gift them all matching cozy pajamas and photograph them nightly looking so snuggly and so uniform and so together right before my eyes.  Maybe I felt I could hold onto it longer if the hubs and I joined in. Maybe I’m just sick of people walking around my house in underwear or less. 

This was the year to find out, and I couldn’t wait until December holidays to do so.  Thanksgiving pajamas were the perfect choice, and of course, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

I placed the pajamas in each of my boys’ rooms.  I told them to put them on and come out, no questions asked.   I handed them to the hubs – who is very picky about how soft clothes are.  But he cooperated, no questions asked.

Dressed in our happy, festive, cozy autumn-wear, we gathered in the family room for a picture or two.  I didn’t say “say cheese!” or “smile!” or anything.  I simply said “get comfy, look at the camera, and show me how you’re really feeling.”

I think you’ll agree the photo is a masterpiece. And, yeah, we’re not inherently family pajamas people.  There were grunts and groans.  There were cries of “I’m too hot” and “This is so stupid!” 

We didn’t frolic and bake cookies or open presents or dance to joyous music. I think I thought we would based on all the pictures I’ve seen of families in family pajamas But for us, just a few quick pics and it was over.  The pajamas were thrown about or crumpled into a ball on the couch or floor . . . some with tags still on so we could return them because clearly nobody was ever going to wear them again.

Or were they?  Several days have passed.  Several pajamas have been worn.  Not all together, not for photos.  But for comfort and coziness.  And of course because it’s easy to put on pajamas when they happen to be just thrown on the floor right next to you.

We may not be a family pajamas kind of gang, but – like my pajama shirt says – I’m thankful every day for this crew.

Are you a family pajamas family? Send me a pic. I could use a chuckle and a smile.

NOVEMBER UPDATE:

“Everyone deserves to be warm and cozy at bedtime,” says Oliver of Oliver’s Pajama Project in Connecticut. Click here to learn about this amazing boy who spreads warmth and cheer to those in need. Want to donate, but you don’t live near Oliver? You could send him funds which he’ll put toward pajamas for others, or you can also check out one of my favorite cozy brands — carter’s — and you can support the Pajama Program there.

One more idea — one I came up with a few years ago and am about to jump into again — host our own Pajamas, Pizza, and Prosecco Party! Some neighbors and I will be hanging out all cozy in our pajamas together, enjoying some pizza and prosecco . . . and everyone who comes will bring a brand new pair of pajamas that we will donate through Oliver’s Pajama Project.

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