In my family we celebrate Christmas. And it is such a different time as an adult than it is as a child. And thank God right? It is such a magical time for kids. And I think part of our jobs as parents is to attempt to give that type of a feeling to our children. But I think for a lot of adults in general, Christmas and the holidays in general isn’t anywhere near as amazing as it was when you were a child. And part of that is because you are trying to give your children that magical experience and the magic doesn’t just come out of nowhere does it?
We work hard as parents to create the perfect holiday moments. But the moments with our children when they are young and impressionable and sweet during the holidays are amongst the best. Seeing their little faces when they walk down the hall and see a full stocking that Santa filled for them? And then the look of pure amazement on their faces when they see the almost-completely-gone cookies and milk they left out the night before for Santa and you can practically hear them thinking, “He was actually HERE last night.” It really is a magical time for them. And, I think, for us as parents. This is what we work for all year long. Not necessarily the gifts, because although seeing the kids open and enjoy those gifts is fabulous, it’s the whole “Santa coming to visit” thing that makes it all spectacular. I remember feeling like that as a kid too. I remember going outside of my grandmother’s house at like 8:00 at night and looking up in the sky and seeing (what was probably the lights of an airplane) Santa and the reindeer flying and just knowing that it was Santa. And that feeling of joy that comes with it. Not only gifts, but gifts from Santa!!, which of course was different than gifts from my parents. They were the special ones. Parents gave stuff like underwear and clothes and stuff, but the stuff that came from Santa was always awesome. Somehow he knew exactly which present would be your favorite and it always came from him. Funny how that happens.
All of this to say that this time when the kids are young and they feel this way goes so fast. My son will be 5 in January and he is still firmly in the magical kingdom. But when talking to my Mom about plans for the early morning she said, “You know it won’t always be like this.” In a few years he will know and it will be different. And then it will be that way for The Girl for as long as her brother keeps his mouth shut…and then it is just different.” And she’s right. I hadn’t thought of that. I guess I just thought it would always be like this. But I don’t know how many more years I have of this innocence and love and pure joy. I want to live it while it’s here.
The other day in the car we were listening to Christmas music. And for the first time this season my son heard the song “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” and he thought it was great. We talked about how it was a silly song and we laughed and listened to it again. One the second listen through my son was trying to sing along with the chorus and suddenly he stopped singing and said, “What do they mean ‘there’s no such thing as Santa…” ? Why would they say that?” Cause you know that’s part of the chorus. Sing it for a minute in your head…I’ll wait…
Right? So of course my little OCD son picks up on that. I proceeded to tell him that it was just part of the silly song. Of course Grandma wouldn’t get run over by a reindeer! And of course there’ such a thing as Santa!” Silly song!!
But how much longer do we get to believe that?