When they were smaller, which wasn’t that long ago, the Magic of Christmas seemed more alive. It was a time where they were much more agreeable, I’d dress them in matching Christmas outfits with ornate hair bows, and patent leather shoes. I was one of the first moms out there in November to get their photo cards done. Afterwards, I’d stroll up and down the aisles of what was once Toys R’ Us, searching for those darn hard to find Hatchimals, stocking up on Play Doh, and scouring the aisle for that one specific Pet Shop figurine set. I’d drag them out to get the yearly photo opt with the creepy mall Santa, only for my youngest to cry in hysterics that eventually ended up with me having to bribe her with promises of ice cream afterwards if she just took the damn picture. Countless nights, I invested a lot of thought and time to figure out where I would cleaverly place the elves, while creating props and fictional mischeif, just so they had something to look forward to in the morning.
The Magic is still alive, but it’s been oddly different. I have to bribe my oldest with cash, just to get her to wear a dress for a Christmas photo, and hair bows are a seperate negotiation. Now, my Christmas cards are printed through a Groupon I scored, as opposed to the fancy prints I used to order on Shutterfly, and then eventually mailed out by mid December. Santa now sits behind a plexi glass shield this year, thinner than ever. Mrs. Claus must have him on a Keto plan or something. Mind you, I didn’t even bother asking them to brush their hair or put something nice on for this year’s Santa visit, Toys are sparse on the wish list this year. Now they want a PS5 and $500 worth of Roblox gift cards. They have not realized yet that Santa is on a teacher’s salary. Anyway, there’s no where to shop for toys anymore even if they wanted them. The aisles within Target are so disheveled and bare, a person with OCD like me, it’s my worst nightmare. Those mischievous elves, well, I think I went 3 nights in a row forgetting to move them. When I do, the rotation is usally the same four or five spots.
The one thing I grapple with the most, as I’m sure most parents do, is wondering if this may be my oldest’s last Christmas for “believing.” How does one prepare themselves for that? How do you start the conversation? Do you wait for them to bring up the proverbial Elephant in the Room, or do you tackle it before they move onto middle school? Last Christmas Eve, I curled up into fetal position lying next to her after a night of bringing up all the “Santa” gifts from the basement. I cried like a baby, thinking that it may have been her “last year”. Lucky and blessed, I still get to squeeze another year out of her. I’m grateful that her 11 year old soul still has this innocence, and she’s still excited to see what “Santa” will leave under the tree. It’s difficult to deal with the hardships of watching your kids grow older, but it’s also promising to know that we will create new traditions in years to come, and no matter how big or small, I will always keep the Magic alive for my babies.
P.S It’s okay to lay next to your child at night and allow yourself to cry, because that only signifies how much you love them. ❤