I LOVE CHRISTMAS! The holiday hustle and bustle, the general good will of people everywhere, and the twinkle of holiday lights gets me giddy from about Halloween on. I (being an overly organized planner) begin thinking about holiday plans around Labor Day and love to make the holiday season last as long as possible! I was raised to fully believe in the “magic” of Christmas. Even before my children were born, my husband and I fully celebrated the holiday season. Now that I’m a mother, I want my children to know the magic of the holiday season just as I did when I was younger. My mother loves Christmas, my grandmother loved Christmas, and now I hope to raise my kids with our long-standing holiday traditions as we incorporate new traditions of our own.
So many of our family holiday happenings surround family tradition that has been passed down through generations. I remember, like it was yesterday, baking cookies and other sweet confections (lots and lots and lots of them) with my now deceased grandmother. I vividly recall her “allowing” me to lick batter off the beaters of her mixer and the absolute perfection that were her peanut butter balls. While I have many recollections of time spent with her, my holiday memories remain the strongest and at Christmas time I feel her presence (and that of so many others) as I bake with my own children. I want to cherish those memories in hope they will get to “know” her even if they will never spend a holiday season perched on her counter top baking. I want them to remember the magic of Christmas in the memories we make; the smells, sounds, sights and magic of the holiday season just as I do.
I cannot lie; my family’s holiday celebration does have a lot of material significance. I love to give (and receive) the perfect gift. My gifts are impeccably wrapped in matching wrapping paper and bows and “Santa” always goes a little overboard. But the holiday season is also a perfect time to teach my children the true meaning of the Christmas and the importance of giving back to our community and those less fortunate. Even though I count my blessings daily, there is no other time of year when I feel more immensely blessed than at Christmas. I have added some new family traditions to our already hectic holiday schedule to incorporate giving of our time and resources as a family to focus on what is truly important this time of year and to spread our Christmas spirit just a little further.
There really isn’t anything I dislike about Christmas. It is like a once a year trip to Disney World where everything is just so perfect and those memories stay with you forever. The best part is we get to relive those jolly holiday traditions over and over building on them year after year. Our holiday schedule is spread thin with community activities, visits to family we rarely see, philanthropic efforts, visits to Santa, and watching every possible holiday movie, but nothing is quite as rewarding as building new holiday traditions and relishing in the old. My Christmas wish this year is that my children will learn to cherish the time shared as a family and the traditions we make during the holiday season and carry them on for generations. To me, that is the true “magic ” of Christmas.