This article, entitled "Keeping the Holiday Magic Alive for Non-Believers," comes from Annie Payne, MomsEveryday blogger from Western Colorado.
Every young mom has had a sweet little old lady say to them at one point or another, “Enjoy these years, Dearie, they go by so quickly.”
Those magical years of little ones who believed in Santa and were excited for his visit, did slip by in what has seemed like the flipping of a calendar. Now, the task is to try to keep some of that holiday magic alive for my three teenage non-believers.
Here are some of my tips, and perhaps you have some more, to celebrate the holidays with older children, who have abandoned the Santa-side of things, but still keep some of those feelings that make this time of year so special.
Help them make their own Holiday playlist
Music is a big part of the season and can help get kids and adults alike get into the holiday spirit, even if they aren’t quite feeling it just yet. It’s been fun for my teenagers to realize that some of their favorite artists make holiday music.
Have them come up with a new tradition
Up until this point, carrying on traditions has mostly been left up to mom and dad. Now that the kids are old enough to have a say, let them come up with a new family tradition. A recent tradition came about when we were overloaded with holiday activities and quickly needed to get dinner on Christmas Eve, so we just ordered Chinese food and sat around the TV, eating out of boxes, and watched a “Christmas Story. My older children liked it so much, they asked if we could do it every year and so we have. This pot sticker tradition has stuck and is going on four years of Lo Mein and Ralphie and the gang.
Most importantly; Service to others
As children mature, so does their sensibility to see the needs of others. It’s a parent’s job to cultivate those feelings of good will toward others and help them to recognize that feeling they get, that warmness of heart and soul, when we offer ourselves, our time, and our talents to others.
Service to others comes in many forms. You know your child’s gifts; allow them to help others in a way that honors them. Being mindful of what your kids enjoy doing and providing service opportunities that will encourage those talents, will be more supportive, than if they are forced to help others in a way that doesn’t suit their personality, making them less apt to enjoy the service. If they are good singers, encourage them to go caroling at a nursing home. If your child has a talent for arts and crafts, encourage them to make cards for soldiers. If they are kids that like to shop, consider taking them on a shopping trip to select toys to donate to other kids.
The internal reward they receive for doing good to others, will more than make up for the magic that is lost when Santa’s sleigh no longer flies over the house for them. And mother knows how quickly that sleigh flies by.