As the holiday season approaches, it can be easy to get lost in the clamor of finding the right gift for everyone on your list. I remember when I was little, it used to seem as though Christmas would never get here and now that I’m an adult with two kids I often find myself saying, “It’s Christmas again already?” The years seem to fly by at a lightning fast pace and sometimes I wish I had a pause button or could slow things down a little. That is one of the reasons I love to take pictures. There’s something magical about being able to freeze a moment, to capture it and be able to look at it again and again, even though that small capsule in time will never repeat itself.
Christmas is a very special time of year and ever since having children five years ago, it’s become more important than ever for me to remember the true meaning of this holiday. I want my kids to see that it’s not about the tree or the gifts or Santa Claus or reindeer. All of those things are lovely and bring wonder and delight to the season as well, but they should not be our focus.
Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ, who gave up all the beauty and glory of heaven to become a baby who would grow into a perfect man and die on our behalf.
During the past five years as this time would approach I constantly questioned myself and pondered how Chris and I would keep our kids centered as parents. Do we tell him there’s a Santa or immediately dismiss the idea? How many gifts should we get the kids? Should we tell the grandparents to limit the number of gifts they get? And on and on. I nearly exhausted myself, forgetting in the midst of it all that Christmas is also about joy. Family. Enjoying each other and the gift of relationships.
The truth is that the biggest way my kids will see the true meaning of Christmas is through me and Chris. If we show them the happiness and love we have over the coming of our Savior, that joy will translate to them. Worrying about it will do nothing but add to my wrinkle lines.
Every family is different and it’s important to remember what works for some may not work for others. Some choose not to introduce Santa at all. Some do extravagant gifts and some don’t. Stockings hang from the mantle in some homes and others don’t have them.
As fast as the past five years have moved, I am sure of this. My kids will not stay small for long. And even though Santa is not our focus during the holiday season, seeing my kids faces light up when they see their video message from Santa or hear his bells when he enters a room truly melts my heart. Their imaginations soar and they are allowed to enter into a enchanting place in their minds which for me was cut far too short.
I have no intention of ending that place any sooner than necessary.