Christmas has evolved in my house. It’s not a welcome evolution, but an inevitable one. I’ve watched it’s descent over the past few years, all the while wishing it would take a different exit. But it never does. The evolution is called growing up – the kids, not me. I will forever be a Peter Pan girl, and I hope my boys retain some of that as well.
My boys are now young men who are basically 15 and 23 (their birthdays fall in January and February), so the glory or should I say glowy days of glitter-filled Christmases are gone. Glitter is now strictly forbidden in my house, due to my oldest son’s OCD (he gets a pass), and my younger son’s bad attitude towards tee-inesy shiny objects that stay embedded in the carpet and your life forever. Nice try boys, Momma’s still shining!
The magic that once pervaded every inch of my house at Christmas is now relegated to my bitter heart. (Not really, but that sounded good.) That said, I’d like to take a moment to give a shout out to the magical memories we have made over the years. Moments that no longer happen. Insert sad crying face here, followed by ugly crying face. This momma’s heart is heavy with nostalgia right about now.
- The Polar Express – every Christmas Eve we would all gather in the living room to read The Polar Express. The kids would sit attentively hanging on every word that they already knew by heart. When Jake was little (before Nick was born), when I would get close to the end of the book, my husband would find a reason (usually the bathroom) to miss the last part of the book. When I finished I would take Jake outside to see if we could hear the bells of Santa’s sleigh. And guess what? We heard them every time. Magically after that Warner would appear and pretend to be sad that he didn’t get to hear them. Years later Jake took over for Warner and made the magic happen for Nick. The looks on their faces when they would hear the bells was priceless. They may no longer listen for the bells, but I do.
- Elf on the Shelf – This was a late addition to our Christmas repertoire. We started this when Jake was 8ish. He got the honor of giving our little imp a name – Mario. Big Nintendo fans over here. We all took turns hiding Mario for Nick to find. Mario was great at his job leaving notes here and there. We still have Mario and we still take turns hiding him and letting the person who found him hide him for the next day. Sadly, Mario usually sits in the same spot most of the season as we forget to move him.
- Another Christmas Eve tradition was to feed the reindeer after we read The Polar Express. We had a lovely mixture of oatmeal and yes, glitter to sprinkle all over the yard. I realize now that the oatmeal that was surely eaten by unsuspecting squirrels and birds was laced with tiny bits of glass. I unknowingly made my special little friends sick. I’m so sorry guys.
- Then there was the famous glitter trail that Santa left. When the kids awoke on Christmas morning there was a shimmery trail leading them to their pile of gifts (also covered in magic)from Santa. The glitter from Christmases past still sits in the carpet fibers haunting Jake and Nick to this very day. It’s slightly possible that there is a small chance that I just might have overdone it on the glitter. I mean if that’s even at all possible.
So there you go. A small nod to those traditions lost to the inconsiderate hands of Father Time. If Time were a woman there’d still be glitter flying. I’m just saying.
What traditions have been laid to rest in your family as your kids have grown?
And can anyone lend me a toddler?
Peace and love,