I’ve been told the holiday magic changes as our kids get older.
I suppose this is true.
“Santa stops visiting,” they say.
“You don’t have to put out treats for Rudolph anymore.”
Most recently I heard something like, “Good luck getting your kids off their devices to help decorate.”
But we’re supposed to share what we know, and here’s my truth so far:
The magic of Christmas time doesn’t disappear as our kids get older. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The magic of Christmas gets even more magical.
Hear me out.
My kids are 13, 11, and 4. Still young, yes. But I’ve been met with plenty of eye rolls and door slams and “Mom, stop it, you are so annoying” comments this year from our two oldest girls, so it’s safe to say I’m now immersed in the teenage drama.
But not at Christmas. Not this year.
In fact, I think this is the most excited I’ve ever seen my girls. And it’s made me excited, too.
They’ve been singing Christmas songs since late October.
When I asked them to write letters to Santa Claus, they didn’t hesitate. Sure, their items for Old Saint Nicholas are a bit on the pricey side, their request for iPads and phones and beautiful bed sets are better than anything I’ve ever owned, but the list still exists.
Our 13-year-old even offered to put the lights on our real Christmas tree, and although I did hesitate (I have a control issue with those lights) she did a wonderful job. Even better? I supervised the entire thing from the comfort of my living room couch.
All three helped with the ornaments and instead of just throwing them on the bottom branches, our girls took each one out of their boxes and found the perfect spots on the tree. They even asked questions about a few.
“Mom, how old were you in this one? Why does your hair look like that?”
And the classic movies that weren’t quite appropriate or entertaining for young kids are now cool and nostalgic for teens.
“Whoa, Mom, this movie was made when you were 9!”
I realized as we were hanging the last few decorations around the house, that this might be the first year our girls remember the magic. Of course, they have memories from holidays past, tiny moments when they were sweet little girls, giddy for Santa—but this is the good stuff, the favorite moments.
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This is when they recall Grandma’s Jell-O and Grammy’s cookies and helping them in their kitchens.
This is when they tuck away the Christmas spirit that comes as we light the candles and sing Silent Night at church.
This is when they remember that homemade bread from our next-door neighbor and that fudge from our neighbor down the street and they can’t wait for the goodies to be delivered to our door once again.
This is when they volunteer to ring bells for donations and give to others, and they understand why they’re giving.
This is when they know the real reason for Christmas.
The Christmas magic might change, but it doesn’t disappear. It’s strong and beautiful in tweens and teens and their “old” parents, too. And I’ll do everything in my power to keep it going now and in all the years to come.