Dear child, 

Here we are, just a few weeks out from Christmas. You just made your list and you’re already excited for cookies, lights, the Elf on the Shelf, and Santa. Your excitement is contagious. 

And yet, I’m already mourning this Christmas. 

You are my youngest. At 10, this will most likely be your last magical Christmas. The last one with Santa gifts and the hidden elf. The last one your dad and I will wait for you to be fast asleep before setting up the gifts for Christmas morning. The last one with cookies left out for Santa, coincidentally the same ones that are my favorites. The last one with a list written to the bearded man in a red suit.

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I’ve loved this stage of life. I’ve loved the surprises and the wonder. I’ve loved—and hated—coming up with fun Elf ideas. I love how we’ve grown together over the years.

I know this won’t be the last Christmas filled with love and laughter. I know it won’t be the last Christmas we drive around the neighborhood looking at lights with a container full of cookies and travel mugs of hot chocolate. It won’t be the last Christmas of decorating the tree as a family as we reminisce about special ornaments. It won’t be the last Christmas morning of gifts in front of the fireplace. 

It won’t be the last Christmas for our family, but it will be the end of an era

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This transition from a family with young children to a family with adolescents will be bittersweet. So if I seem a bit more emotional, if I’m pushing the traditions a bit harder this year, know it’s because I have so thoroughly enjoyed this stage in your life and I’m having a hard time letting go. 

Also, know that whatever the next stage brings, I’ll be excited to be there with you too, making new memories and new traditions.

Jill Robinson

Jill Robinson is a wife, mother of two, athlete, speech-language pathologist, and lover of all animals. She loves the outdoors and singing off-key in the car. Writing brings her peace. You can follow Jill at on Instagram @firstdraftdotblog and Twitter at @jarchicago13