This morning as I walked my neighborhood there was a definite crispness of fall in the air. While I happily welcome the cooler temperatures, as the newly fallen leaves crunched under my feet I couldn’t help but feel a little melancholy over the change of seasons and the impending holiday celebrations. Don’t get me wrong, I really love Christmas. We celebrate the holiday season to the fullest extent. Tree, lights, stockings, cookies; I try to never miss a holiday tradition. The squeals of excitement from my children on Christmas morning, the twinkling of holiday lights and the crooning of Bing Crosby makes my heart happy for a few weeks each year. But the arrival (and completion) of Christmas, for me, is a little bittersweet.
The passing of another Christmas marks the passing of another year that seems to have flown by too quickly. Another year that my kids have grown taller and become more independent needing me less and less. I’ve begun to accept the fact that this year will possibly be the last Christmas with a “baby” in our home, and my years of enjoying festive new discoveries through my children’s eyes are drawing to a close. My opportunities to truly surprise them with gifts from Santa, to toss out reindeer feed in our yard on Christmas Eve and to write heartfelt letters to Santa are holiday traditions they, one day, will no longer care about. Christmas magic is still alive and well in my home, but I know eventually this will no longer be the case. My little ones truly believe in Santa Claus but I know one day, in the not too distant future they will ask, “Is he real?!?” My heart really isn’t ready for this devastating task.
As I watch the twinkling of Christmas lights reflect in my children’s eyes, I ponder the day when they will be off celebrating the holidays with their own families and and I’m hopeful that they will carry forth the traditions that we hold so near and dear to our hearts. Like I’ve done with my own mother, I imagine my daughter will call me one day for my best cookie recipes and I hope that my son will, in the future, ask me to help choose the best gift for his wife.
I’ll never divulge to my kids that I’m a little sad about the arrival of Christmas. I don’t let it get me down too much but as the last gift is opened and New Year’s resolutions are mad,e I look back on another year and reminisce on the wonderful memories made with my family and think about how quickly life passes us by. This year, soaking up the pure joy of Christmas and creating memories with my kids will be on the top of my holiday to-do list for “Christmas future is far away and Christmas past is past,” and the years of enjoying the magic of Christmas through little hearts and eyes are fleeting.