As a kid, Christmas morning was full of magic.

The tiptoeing to sneakily scope out the presents under the tree before leaping onto Mom and Dad’s bed to let them know Santa had come.

The candy trail Mom laid out from our bedroom doors, leading to stockings teeming with goodies.

The sloppily-written notes from Santa.

The half-eaten cookies and empty glass of milk.

The carrots tossed out for the reindeer that had mysteriously disappeared from the front lawn by morning.

Every last bit of it was pure magic.

And I was absolutely certain that there was no way it could ever get better. 

Nothing could top the Christmases of my childhood.

Once I became a bit older, and Christmas lost a tiny bit of its magic, I figured it was over.

The magic of Christmas morning was undeniably reserved for younger kids, my days of childlike awe and wonder disappearing like those crunchy carrots the reindeer had munched on during their Christmas Eve travels.

But then, it happened.

One year, without warning, the magic returned.

RELATED: Dear Mom, Everything I Do To Make Christmas Magical For My Kids is Because You Made it Magical For Me First

It wasn’t like before, though.

It was better.

So much better.

Because that magic was no longer simply mine.

It was my children’s.

Now that I’m a mom, I see it in their eyes—that same childlike awe and wonder I once had.

It’s the way they stand before our towering Christmas tree, mouths open wide.

It’s the way they shout, “Christmas lights!” as we drive past homes with brilliant displays.

It’s the way they giggle at the same Christmas movies I used to watch as a kid.

It’s the way they belt out Christmas songs with their sweet, little voices.

It’s the way they gleefully unwrap presents, screeching with joy and gratitude.

It’s the way they always manage to remind me of the true meaning of Christmas.

It’s the way they find the beauty in it all, each and every tiny, intricate detail of this wondrous season.

And Christmas through their eyes—it’s infinitely greater than the Christmases of my childhood.

Because Christmas as a kid was magical.

Truly, utterly magical.

But Christmas as a mom?

There’s nothing better.

(And I even have it on good authority that somehow, some way, it’s even better as a grandparent!)

RELATED: Your Kids Will Remember How Christmas Felt, Not How it Looked

Krista Ward

Krista is a former first grade teacher turned stay-at-home mom to her insanely precious little boys, Hudson and Jones. She is married to her best friend and high school sweetheart, Randy, who is the peanut butter to her chocolate. Krista hopes to be a light and joy to the world, especially other mamas feeling stuck in the daily grind, through her writing.