“It’s looking so Christmas-y in here, Mom, I like it!” said my sixteen year old son.
“Ohhhh…I just love Christmas so much!” sighed my twelve year old daughter.
I smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside each time I hear declarations like these lately. Maybe it’s because I (wrongly) assumed that I wouldn’t hear them as much in this stage of life with tween/teens. So, I guess it just surprises me a bit.
But, I can’t tell you how much joy it brings me!
And, there’s nothing they seem to be drawn to each year more than the hot cocoa station.
Because, why wouldn’t they be?
It is all things cozy and winter-y…
…and sweet and yummy….
And with the extra touch of a chalkboard sign from my daughter, it’s also personal.
It would be easy to lament the fact that my kids are growing older and Christmas has lost a little bit of the magic. But there are still so many things that they love and appreciate that it helps to offset the bittersweet feelings.
And, frankly, there is a lot that they still do now that they did when they were little!
Fighting over who got the bigger piece of cake, stealing things from each other’s rooms, laughing at their own inside jokes.
And, every time I wonder if this will be the last year that they will want to put the little characters up each day on our nativity advent calendar or will notice if the Christmas village is set up correctly or want their little Christmas trees in their bedrooms laden with all of their childhood ornaments, I’m surprised to discover that they really do want all of those things still.
So, I shop for the perfect ornament to give them for their trees (a tradition since their first Christmas’) and I dig out the hanging nativity advent calendar from the attic and I set up the hot cocoa station with all of the yummy things they could want.
And I let out a sigh of gratefulness that while so much has changed about the holiday season now that they are no longer little, SO much is still the same and probably always will be. It may take on different forms, there may be some traditions that we let go of while we add in brand new ones. There may be extra members joining our family and I will need to give room for them to bring in their own traditions. But, I have a feeling that my kids will always notice (and hopefully appreciate!) those things that take them right back to their childhood and that they will never outgrow the joy that it brings them.
“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”
And if you want more Hot Cocoa Station Inspiration here are some from years past.