Life with Kids

Christmas Then and Now (a mom of teens updates her list)

Just a few days ago I wrote about what I really want for Christmas.  It was a list of all the things that, in a perfect world, would be different around my house. That list is spot on. I stand by that list. And yet, as I look back over it, I can’t help thinking about how different that list is from one I might have written ten years ago – when all of my children were small. And the truth is, it made me sad.

Sure big kids are great. They like to stay up late and watch holiday movies with me. They rarely destroy the Christmas tree ornaments.  And the girls usually fill their Christmas list cute boots and sweaters that fit me too. Even so, a part of me longs for the days when Christmastime was magic. I miss having a houseful of little people bubbling with excitement and filled with wonder.

So, in addition to matched socks and a crumb-free counter, there are a few things I’d like to add to my Christmas list – things that I never would have wished for a few years ago…

  • I used to wish that I didn’t have to stay up until 2:00 a.m, assembling toys and stuffing stockings.  Now I wish someone wanted a doll house for Christmas or a baby doll stroller or a train set. And oh how I wish someone believed in Santa.
  • I used to wish I could get just a little more sleep on Christmas morning. Now I wish I could hear the pitter patter of  tiny feet racing down the hall and the excited squeals of children delighted to see what Santa has brought.
  • I used to wish for just a few hours to myself to bake and decorate and wrap presents. Now I wish I had sticky fingers in my hair and chocolate kisses on my cheeks. I wish I had a whole new set of Christmas ornaments made out of macaroni and salt dough and goofy school pictures.
  • I used to wish they would all sit still for a Christmas photo.  Now I wish they would all be home at the same time for a Christmas photo.
  • I used to wish it wouldn’t snow. How tired I got of the bundling and unbundling. The soggy mittens and the wet boots. Now I wish I could see a chubby faced little one trying to catch a snowflake on her tongue.
  • I used to wish, in spite of the late nights and the mess and the hassle, that they could all stay little just a little longer. I used to wish I could freeze time. Now? Now I still wish I could freeze time. I wish that my boys would always want to wrestle and rough house and make too much noise and rattle my nerves just a little. I wish my girls would always want to stay up way too late and watch schmaltzy Christmas movies with me and cuddle under a pile of blankets. I wish that my family would always go to Christmas Mass together and struggle to all squeeze into one pew.  I wish they weren’t all going to be grown and gone very very soon.

No, they are not little anymore, but Christmases around our house are still pretty magical. They are all growing up to be interesting and kind and funny and the type of people I like to hang out with.  So, I guess as far as wishes go, mine really are coming true.

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4 thoughts on “Christmas Then and Now (a mom of teens updates her list)

  1. I know exactly how you feel! My are 10, 14 and 18. But today they have agreed to all be home and help me decorate Christmas cookies! And I will savor every sweet, messy moment!

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