“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.
Thank You for this lovely post. We are all adults in my house. We still do everything we did as children. We still hang up stockings and put little fun gifts in a red Santa Claus bag.
HAPPY Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas
Marlene Stephenson says
There will always be a child in all of us no matter the age, my 47 and 50 yr. old sons and my 21, 18, and 10 yr.old grandsons and granddaughter, they all get that twinkle in their eye when i talk about memories. It is a little sad but life goes on, and just thank God for those wonderful memories cause they put a twinkle even in grandma’s eyes. Just enjoy the journey and every second of it, Happy Thanksgiving!
Helen Davis says
It’s a blessing to have such wonderful memories with your family. Our family continued with the same traditions that our children had growing up at Christmas!!! Only now, their spouses and our grandchildren are an enjoyable part of the celebration. We must embrace change with greater memories being developed as we go forth. Happy Holidays
At The Picket Fence says
Your last line is so perfect Helen! Embracing change and making new memories is the only way to move forward and enjoy the next season of life. Thank you for your encouragement and for sharing your own experience. Happy Thanksgiving!
Michele M. says
They will always remember and always appreciate.
My sister is going through this exact thing – her first is a college graduate working his dream job, her two middles are in college now and her youngest is 16 – cheering, working and busy with friends…..yet she is experiencing those “holding on” moments, and those little “throw me a bones” that they are throwing her
that makes her know it is all worthwhile.
Mine have been gone a long while…….but now there’s this wee grand daughter who has brought all the fun back. Circle of life. Enjoy the ride. Hugs.
Irene Wolf says
We did the same thing with our children and grandchildren, an ornament every year and passing some along from both of our families. I love looking at their trees and seeing those decorations. I also love decorating our tree with ornaments from the past and ones we have picked up on our travels. I think it provides a continuity from one generation to the next, love that some of my grandma’s ornaments are being enjoyed by our great-granddaughter
Mary Caliendo says
Thank you for this post! I’m catching the Christmas excitement! We still do everything too! We love the celebration, my kids never tire of it!