There is that hush-hush conversation that starts to happen around this time of year among parents of children of a ‘certain age’. How much longer do we have? How many more years of the magic …of that deep-set belief in all things glorious surrounding the holidays do we possibly have. I, for one, am clinging to it the way my newborn babies held my fingers when they drank milk.
My small people have a sparkle that flashes in their eyes as they begin to count down the days until first Freddie, our Elf on the Shelf, and then Santa visit. Their little chests puff up with excitement, their cheeks flush and the words tumble out of their mouths as they recount the mountains of memories that have been built in their few short years. There are gifts to be given, lists to be made, cookies to bake, gingerbread houses to build, families to adopt, trees to decorate…a full year’s worth of holiday moments to pack into just a few short weeks.
I’m out of breath just thinking about it. But, friends, I am SMILING. And I am smiling because I feel as though I know the secrets to keeping the magic alive AND staying stress free as the holidays approach. And I can’t wait to share them with you:
Live the Magic: Those moments that your children believe, embrace them. Open that inner-Santa – give more, thank more, love more, BE more. Your small people don’t do as you SAY, they do as you DO.
Be A Kid: Join the kids as they build the gingerbread house, take the time to decorate a few gifts, and stop and LAUGH. During the holidays we rush, rush, rush to the point of exhaustion, but if we take a cue from our kids, we’ll see that they are the ones reveling in the moment: they are stopping to watch the snowflakes fall, to stare in awe as the sugar cookies rise, to giggle when the Christmas tree is only decorated by small hands from four feet down.
Let it Go: It is impossible for everything to be perfect: for you to remember the scotch tape, to buy every gift on your list before December 24th, to remember that you were supposed to record Rudolph and Charlie Brown Christmas on the same night. You aren’t aiming for perfection – you want memories. And you are creating them with the people you love.
Play Music: Holiday music makes everything better. I know it starts early, but the truth is, we only have a limited time to listen to it… enjoy it while it lasts. Allow yourself to feel the spunky and serene moments of the holidays as the music dictates.
Stick with Your Traditions: When I was a little girl, my dad read T’was the Night Before Christmas to my brother and I every single Christmas Eve (even when we were teenagers) and now my husband does the very same with my small people. I can’t get enough of it. It is by FAR one of my very favorite traditions
Buy Batteries: No matter what, don’t forget the batteries. As a mother to two small people, I have only made this grievous error one time and I will never, ever do it again. When your child opens the toy of their dreams, but cannot use it on Christmas morning because you have neglected the ONE thing that will make that toy work…well, you drop from the BEST MOMMY IN THE WORLD to….. well, the opposite. This is the one place where planning ahead is a beautiful thing.
Our tree and decoration are up…the holidays are in full swing in our home. When does the season start for you? And what traditions are your favorite? I cannot wait to hear how the magic visits your home.