As we stepped out of our warm, heated seats, calm SUV into the ice cold wind the thought did cross my mind. Are these Christmas tree photos truly worth it? Will we, indeed, cherish them for all time? It is after all, nap time and we’re hanging on by a thread. Not to mention at any moment one of these things is going to get “bumped” by my oldest and the whole tent will come caaaarashing down.
What does Christmas really mean to kids? To you?
Let me, let you in on the four truths I’ve learned about Christmas with kids. (My favorite and the one I myself have to work on most is number three!) Before children came into our lives we could make the Holidays into what ever experience WE wanted. We could rotate families, go on vacation, forget to hang the stockings and spend hours upon hours strolling the mall for alllllll the gifts we wanted.
Now that little ones have entered in, we have an “agenda” we have expectations. We BELIEVE our children do too. But let me tell you a short story to bring this first point home. The other day for lunch I grabbed some leftover eggs out of the fridge for our 10 month olds meal. As I put them out on his tray to eat my husband asked, “Aren’t you going to warm those up for him?”
“Hmmm” I thought, “Should I?”
But then it occurred to me, cold eggs are only really gross to us adults. Ethan does not care what temperature they are, to him, he only knows cold eggs, and he’s fine with them.
Truth One: Set the Bar Low
Our kids have only the ideas of Christmas that WE introduce to them. Think on that one for a while because I believe it is the biggest one. As our children grow up, what will we show them in our homes, behind the door, around the tree. What will we introduce to them? The feelings, the activities…they have NO preconceived thoughts on this season…YET.
Truth Two: They Suffer from Memory Loss
THEY WON’T REMEMBER. I know we say this lightly but MAMA, they really won’t.
Think back to your very own Christmas’s. What gifts did you get, can you recall ONE favorite one from child hood. I bet you can think of one, maaaaaybe two but you don’t remember the stocking stuffers, the wrapping paper coordination or the toys. You remember the feelings, the laughs, the togetherness.
Truth Three: YOU
The best gift to give them is YOU. I mean really. We are all so very starved for attention these days. Loneliness is at an all time HIGH. Higher than our parents experienced and there is not a whole lot being done to eradicate those feelings. This I struggle with because we live in a material world. There are famous songs about materialism, commercials, and shows. They all point to THINGS.
Truly truly, your little one just want’s YOU. Yes, it’s fun to open gifts and some people even have a “love language” that falls into this category but the truth about Christmas with kids is they WANT cold days at the Christmas tree tent taking freezing tickle pictures, they want hot cocoa in the car as you drive together (illegally on the center console) around the neighborhood.
Children want to be known, held, read to, and told they are the MOST special person in the WORLD and believe it because YOU make them feel that way!
(Clearing my throat over here) Christmas with kids is NO longer about YOU!
Yup, sorry but this chapter, or chapters of you life are different fooooorrrrreeevvvver (like in Sand Lot) My husband and I used to shhhhhower each other with gifts, it was beautiful. I loved ever single one …. (although I really only remember the Cutco Knives – what an adult gift!).
We may want to have the perfect tree, bake homemade cookies and give it our ALL. BUT, this season is not about what WE can do to be amazing, or what Pintrest idea we can bring to life because remember Truth 1. This is not about what WE want, or at least it shouldn’t be in my opinion.
Do you struggle with one of these? Which one could you focus on this year? Head over to my Instagram @jenbrazeal and give me a shout out on a Christmas tree photo to let me know which “truth” you’re focusing on, what memories you’re most excited about or just let me know I’m not alone on my struggle with Truth 3!