As I sit on my couch, watching my kids play in front of the fireplace where stockings are hung by the chimney with care, I am keenly aware of how Christmases like this are in short supply. Therefore, I am doing my best to make sure that my kids’ Christmases are filled with magic, cheer and tradition while I can.
Soon this time will become the memories and spirit of Christmas past.
As moms know all too well, time flies, and these moments won’t last forever. The moments when my kids are excited about Santa, presents, decorating cookies, and seeing Christmas lights, these moments only last a few years. If I think about the number of years there are between the Christmases they are old enough to remember and the Christmases they stop believing in Santa, there are sadly not that many years in between those ages.
Not that many years to form memories that will last a lifetime, because it is what happens in those years that is most likely going to form their impressions of Christmas for years to come. If they are good memories, hopefully, they will have fond memories to look back on with joy. Conversely, if they are traumatic or difficult in some way, that is likely to stick with them as well, because let’s remember that not everyone has Hallmark Card Christmas memories.
I, however, am one of the fortunate ones. When I look back at my childhood Christmases, I remember joy. A house full of decorations, family, food, and a pile of presents just for me. Participating in family traditions, not being able to sleep on Christmas Eve because I was too excited, and my mom baking in the kitchen. Those were my memories in the years between the time I started to remember Christmas and the time I stopped believing in Santa Claus.
I remember when I realized that it was not Santa but, in fact, my parents that were responsible for all the presents on Christmas morning. But I was not sad, instead, I was in awe. I was in awe of my parents, realizing that they were the ones behind all the Christmas magic and presents. They were the ones buying the dolls, clothes, bikes, and Barbie dream house, all those years, even though they were on a tight budget. They were the ones spending time wrapping presents, assembling toys, and stuffing stockings, when they were already so busy with the daily tasks of having a family, working and much more. It is something I can appreciate even more now being older and knowing that not everyone gets this and realizing the amount of time and effort (and money) it takes to pull off a holiday like Christmas.
Now it is my turn.
It is my turn to create memories and magic and pass the traditions down. My kids are now old enough to be able to remember the magic of Christmas year to year. I am again fortunate that I can give them good Christmas memories, and I hope one day they can look back on this time with joy, as I am now. Because if there is one thing I have learned about this time of year, and as we know from one of our favorite classic Christmas stories, it’s that the memories and spirit of Christmases in the past, influence the Christmases in the present and future.
So, make this year a good one and Merry Christmas from my family to yours!