Why I Go Overboard For Christmas
I woke up this morning with so much excitement and it was all thanks to my son’s own excitement that was so contagious he had us all up and ready like never before. It is December 1st the start of the happiest month of the year and the arrival of his beloved Elf Chippy. Every year the night before December first Mike and I set up the table in our kitchen for Chippy’s annual arrival breakfast. This year we had pancakes with whip cream and red and green sprinkles on top. We lay out the new pajamas Chippy brings along with a couple little Christmas themed treats. We then go to bed and I set my alarm a little earlier so I can have the magic all ready for when he wakes up. This year Xander beat my alarm and I woke to him peeking into our room much like he did when he was a toddler, to see if we were awake. This is the same kid who so grudgingly has to be woken up every day for school. He rushed downstairs and saw Chippy and the treats waiting for him. His excitement was exactly what they talk about when you hear one say “Christmas magic.” We all were so happy and enjoying breakfast with Chippy while our tree was lit, our fireplace was on, and the smell of pine filled the air. It’s was the perfect start to a wonderful month. Xander left for school and Mike said to me ” I think this is going to be his last year believing. He’s so smart and he’s starting to pick up on things.” Wow did that hit me hard. I denied it and said maybe we have a couple more but even so it isn’t enough and he is right, this is coming to end.
The thought of not seeing Xander filled with so much joy this time next year breaks my Mommy heart. I started thinking to myself “I should’ve made the crepes like I wanted to… I should’ve set my alarm earlier…” But then I realized that it didn’t matter he was still happy and loving every minute of it. It got me thinking about why I am so Christmas obsessed myself and why I tend to go overboard (and no I’m not talking about gifts) with my holiday spirit. It’s because I remember the feeling as a child of no longer believing, suddenly the world feels a little different. You feel older and those little joys the Christmas season once brought disappear. For the longest time, it then became about what I was getting my family and friends for Chrismas and although I still loved the holiday season the magic of it all seemed to be missing. That all changed when I had my almost Christmas baby born a week before Christmas, my first born, my baby boy.
Experiencing the magic of the season with your child not only brings back the magic you once had as a child but it makes it better than you could ever imagine and you suddenly see Christmas in a different light. It is like God gave us this gift to bring the magic back into our lives to remember the reason for the season after all. I immediately began Christmas traditions with Xander like buying Christmas pajamas(which Chippy now brings), having an advent calendar, watching the classic movies while drinking hot cocoa, making our own crafts, heading to the farm to pick out our own tree, attending local holiday events, and of course Chippy the Elf…just to name a few. I will fill the entire months weekends with family fun things to do both at home or out to make the most of our memories during the holiday season. Over the years I have heard a few comments (not many but there have been some) on why do I do the Elf or why do I go so crazy for Christmas? Most of the time I will hear “that’s a lot” or “that’s just too much work for me, I don’t have the time.” And while that is perfectly fine to feel that why I just see things much much different.
You see your child may start grasping the concept of Christmas and Santa around the age of two and could stop believing around the age of 7 or 8, give or take. So when you look at the math you have roughly 5 years of experiencing the pure magic of Christmas with your child…5 years. Now I know most of my friends are just starting their families and being a young Mom, I am in a different season than them but let me tell you and I’m sure any Mom of older kids will tell you, it goes by fast…too painfully fast. So if this is Xander’s last year of believing then it will only be 5 years of experiencing the magic with him. I can’t even believe how fast that went. Memories is all you have when your kids are grown and gone so we do our best to make the most of our time with them so that they too will remember these days as kids so well. So to all my new Moms and Moms of toddlers and preschoolers, make the most out of everything you do and make those sweet memories now. These are truly the best years that time just steals away too entirely fast.
I hear some people say they don’t like when their kids decorate the tree because the ornaments are all out of place so they do the decorating themselves. While I can completely understand as I look at the decor of my house and how it is all neat then I look at this big beautiful tree we picked out that is now loaded with ornaments all bunched in one spot and candy canes all facing the same direction, I’m not going to lie and say that I haven’t thought about rearranging them so they look neat but the truth is I am not going to touch it. Why? Because Xander so proudly decorated the whole tree this year as he as done for the past few years. I only have a few precious years of my child decorating the tree on his own and it might not be how I would decorate and it might look sloppy as all heck, but I will have the rest of my life’s Christmases to decorate how I want but I only have these few short years to see the tree decorated by my little boy. I can guarantee that the Christmas trees decorated by my kids will be better than any tree I will ever decorate on my own when they are grown and gone and I just I know one day I will miss this ornament clustered/candy canes all facing left tree one day!
The Elf came into our lives 5 years ago and Xander named him Chippy. You either love The Elf on a Shelf or you hate it and if you follow me on social media or you’re a friend/ family member of mine then you know where we stand with that! We LOVE him! Yes it can be a lot of work and yes we often have the “oh sh*t we forgot to move the elf” moments but it is so much fun! It brings more magic to the season and seeing our son’s reaction every morning is priceless. Last year was a tough year for Xander and I can’t tell you what it meant to see him so happy and laughing at all the Chippy shenanigans! The extra time we put it into the Elf is certainly a commitment. I once received a comment about it being ridiculous and how this person just didn’t have time for it. To that, I just say well we make the time if I have to stay up a little later or wake a little earlier then so be it because nothing and I mean nothing is better than seeing your child’s reaction to the daily Elf silliness and I’m sure my other Elf Moms and Dads would agree. I will have the rest of my life to not move an Elf around once my kids stop believing so you can be sure Mike and I are going to make the most out of our time with Chippy! To see what we come up with this year follow me on Instagram .
I am also one of those people who start listening to Christmas music pretty early on. I play it in the car and in my house, I just can’t get enough! I wear my Christmas shirts and socks all month long. Even Mike who once was like a scrooge really has got into the spirit. Being a parent at Christmas time is a whole new world and let me tell you it is so much fun! While yes this time of year can be stressful and especially so for us with two birthdays in our family this month it is hard to dwell on the stress when your house is looking like a winter wonderland while Bing Crosby plays in the background as you decorate the tree with your kids. These are the memories we will cherish and I hope our kids will too.
While this might be our last year having Xander as a believer ( I hope that is not the case) I will know that we did our very best to show him all the magic the season has to bring and made the most out of the short time we had of him believing. While some of it I will admit is for our own selfishness of wanting to experience the joy again and with our children, it is all to make sure that the spirit of Christmas stays with our kids for years to come. That they have fond memories of how Mom and Dad celebrated the season with them and that they pass these traditions on to their children someday. So that is why I go overboard with Christmas. I want our kids to remember the magic we showed them and that the Christmas magic doesn’t just die because you no longer believe but instead that Christmas is a feeling of giving and joy to bring to others. That the joy we gave to them as kids doing all these Christmas things we do was, in turn, filling our hearts with joy and that is how Christmas works. It’s not from a store and it’s not because of the man in the red suit. It is the goodness in all of us that we share with others during this time of year.It is about spreading good cheer that warms our hearts and makes us and the world better for doing so. It is to celebrate the birth of Jesus who gave his life for us and to give love and joy to the ones we love like he did for us.
I hope our kids one will know how much we truly loved making the holiday season so special for them and all the joy they bring us.