Christmas has taken on a different feel since my kids are now teens and not really little children anymore. Now my son tells me he doesn't want anything in particular, but a card with cash would be fine. My daughter points out pocketbooks and clothes while we're shopping in Valley View and I tell her to turn around so I could buy them because there's no way I'm going back there again.
I still love everything about Christmas, but as the family gets older I find myself thinking back to a "simpler," yet more frantic bustling holiday mostly geared towards to the kids. I miss it, so in no particular order I've decided to come up with my Christmas Miss List...
1. Hearing the countdown of days as the kids open up their Advent calendars while eating their breakfast.
2. Getting handed the Toys 'R Us ad booklet with red circled toys indicating what my daughter requests and the black circled toys what my son wanted.
3. Waiting for the big sale day at Toys 'R Us and standing on that looooong line with a shopping cart brimming over.
4. Buying toys/books/movies that I like, hoping the kids will like them as well.
5. Working the elementary school holiday shoppe.
6. Putting together the holiday party as the class mom.
7. Seeing my kids on stage performing at the PTA meeting.
8. Trying to talk the kids into sitting on Santa's lap.
9. Riding the toy train at Valley View Mall.
10. Going to Santa Land downtown.
11. Driving through the live nativity and watching the awe on their faces as they pass the suspended angel.
12. Driving, singing along with the Christmas songs on the radio while looking for the best Christmas lights in the Valley.
13. Reading the letters they've received over the years from Santa and his elves aloud without them rolling their eyes.
14. Making stained glass, or sewing together, or baking some sort of home-made Christmas ornament.
15. A train making the rounds round the Christmas tree.
16. Being begged to read "The Polar Express" and "The Night Before Christmas" on the night before Christmas and then watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" the cartoon, not movie.
17. Putting footsie pajamas on the kids on Christmas Eve.
18. Leaving cookies out for Santa and Cheerios for the reindeer.
19. Listening to my daughter scold Grandpa for eating Santa's cookies!
20. Waiting for the kids to keep coming out of their rooms on Christmas Eve saying they heard bells on the rooftop.
21. Telling the kids Santa won't come if they don't stay in bed!
22. Watching my husband pull out his hair as he puts together one of the humongous "easy to assemble" toys the kids wanted.
23. Lugging all the presents to the tree and stuffing the stockings, including a piece of black coal.
24. Crushing the Cheerios, putting powder on the floor and making reindeer hoof prints in it.
25. Being awoken at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning by two excited children --saying, "Santa came! Santa came! And the reindeer made a mess!"
26. Watching the kids struggle with the ribbons, finally tearing open the paper to the presents.
27. A huge hug and many kisses, "Thank you Mommy, thank you Daddy, thank you Santa, thank you Grandpa and Grandma, it's just what I wanted!"
Maybe Christmas is not "the same" but I'm blessed to have those memories and still be able to make new ones with the ones I love. Dr. Seuss says it best...
"Christmas Day is in our grasp
so long as we have hands to clasp.
Christmas Day will always be,
just so long as we have we.
Welcome Christmas, while we stand.
Heart to heart and hand in hand."