We are in our holiday prime. The kids lecture us on Santa, and I will admit to calling out the big man as an observer of poor choices. Stockings, ornaments, and lights astound them. Carols need to be sung at top volume every day of December – they couldn’t wait in fact. They kicked in the day after Thanksgiving. An army of enthusiastic cooks decorated cookies and gingerbread houses, and asked for more. They couldn’t get enough of The Nutcracker. At intermission, Griff looked at me in astonishment and said, “There’s more?! We get to see it again?!” The magic is everywhere.
It takes a lot of planning to make the magic last with kids this age, and that’s before a weeklong trip to Vienna thrown in there! This is a short phase, and we want to milk it for all it’s worth. I dread the half-in, half-out phase, when we run the chance of a blurt during a fight ruining the holiday for little sibs. But we’ve still got time.
And in the meantime, Dave and I enjoy the holidays more every year. We’re getting smarter about where to focus our energy and where to skimp. No one needs a complicated meal on Christmas Eve, but it wouldn’t be Christmas without decorating cookies. Cutting corners lets us spend more time with the kids, instead of for the kids.
Now that the Christmas bomb is behind us, we’re caught a little off guard at how quickly New Year’s arrived this year. We’re with friends and family, inundating the kids with skiing opportunities and playtime. And we’re realizing that the best end to the year we can imagine is this: time together with people we love. And if that’s not the best holiday tradition, I don’t know what is.