When I started writing for Jacksonville Moms Blog, my little people were 4 and 2 years old. Or, as I like to call it, “Prime Christmas Age.” PCA is the absolute perfect age where everything is magical this time of year. The smallest things — like the decorations on light poles in the parking lot to Christmas songs on the radio — excites kids at this time in their life. And I’m no Scrooge either — I love it all. All the Christmas things: a yard full of inflatables, a real Christmas tree, Elf on a Shelf — even personalized Santa videos and photos of Santa in our house on Christmas Eve. My Christmas tree was tethered to the wall with fishing line because of how “aggressively” my daughter loved it. We’d sit in our front yard for hours and enjoy the “Christmas Cottage” (their old plastic playhouse I painted red and green). We would make almost daily runs to local nativity display to look for baby Jesus. Life was good (but exhausting), and Christmas was full.
Fast forward six years, and my Cindy Lou Who and her brother are now 10 and 8. That means I’ve enjoyed six years of moving the elf, singing the carols, putting those handmade ornaments on a tree, staking down inflatables and looking at Christmas lights. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks at Thanksgiving — this could be my last Christmas. No, I’m not being dramatic or talking about that catchy tune by Wham!.
What I mean to say is, this could be the final Christmas with Christmas magic. Now, I’m not implying that Santa is the reason for Christmas magic, as even my kids will tell you their favorite thing about Christmas is the Christmas Eve service at our church. I’m merely stating that as our children age, the magic gets less and less abundant. The wide-eyed amazement of childhood wanes and real life creeps in. They start to question the idea of Santa and his elves. They wonder if their Scout Elf Oscar really flies back and forth to the North Pole every night. They don’t seem to get as excited about the neighborhood lights displays and carols.
Fortunately for me, my 4th and 2nd graders are swimming with Christmas cheer. When my son started to ask about the realness of the man in red, my daughter promptly dismissed him and listed many, many reasons why he is, in fact, real and coming on Christmas Eve. They still jump out of bed to see what antics the elf has done. What if this was it? With just a few days left until Christmas, I am determined to make the best of it.
The reason I am telling you this is simple: I want you to realize that many of you reading this are living in the Prime Christmas Age as we speak. Sure, you’re exhausted from Christmas gatherings at the preschool and tired of them missing their nap because, let’s face it, your hubby isn’t going to buy and wrap all those presents, now is he?! You’re sick and tired of sweeping up broken ornaments because your children just CAN’T STOP TOUCHING THE TREE.
Or maybe you are just plain tired. Tired from not sleeping because one of your littles are teething, or tired from worry or even tired from there not being enough hours in the day to get all the things finished in time for December 25. If I could tell my 2012 Christmas-self anything, it would be to soak up all the goodness of those 1,000,000 questions about Santa. Enjoy those small off-key voices singing their favorite Caillou Christmas songs. (Yes, Caillou’s Holiday Movie is chocked full of catchy tunes.) I’m not going to pepper you with a bunch of Pinterest-worthy quotes about kids growing up so fast. We all already know this stuff.
Whatever season of life (or Christmas) you are in, just know it doesn’t last forever. The Elf will fly away and Santa sneaking into your house on Christmas Eve will become memories. So soak it in, mamas — soak in that Christmas magic as long as you can. It goes away sooner than you think.