Some of my most favorite childhood memories are of the Christmas magic created by my parents. Lying in bed on Christmas Eve, ears strained to hear any sound that might just indicate Santa had arrived, anticipation trilling through my veins, trying so hard to stay awake, but finally falling asleep dreaming of brightly colored trees and wrapped packages.
I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I stopped believing in Santa Claus, just that one day I didn’t anymore. I wasn’t upset or tortured because my parents lied to me. I just knew he wasn’t real, and I started helping my mom keep the magic alive for my brother. Since then I’ve done the same for my niece and the children of friends until I eventually I had children of my own.
We do Santa at our house. It is still my most favorite part of the holidays. Reliving the excitement through my children and seeing their wide eyed wonder keeps the Christmas Magic alive for me. I know all families are different, but I’m always a little surprised when I hear that Santa is not a part of their Christmas traditions. And honestly? It makes me a little sad that other people don’t seem to have the same joyful connection to that part of Christmas like I do.
This will also be our third year to add the Elf on the Shelf to our holiday traditions. Every morning my kids race around the house looking for Dobie (yes he is named after Dobby from Harry Potter), and then run to tell me where he is and what he is doing.
Recently I’ve seen some people not understanding or complaining about OMG the effort and there just not being enough time and the why put something else on yourself when you are already so busy… Well, because it only takes a minute or two to move him, maybe five if he does something “special” that night, and the joy that it brings my two kids is immeasurable. They make it completely worth it.
I know that different things are special to different people (please do not ask me to do an Advent calendar), but this is why these two things are special to me. Children only marvel at the magic and wonder for such a short period of time. It is important to me to make the Christmas magic as special and endearing to them as it was to me.