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Magnolia Mama: The Magic of Holidays

The busy holiday season is upon us once again. As I unwrap one of the last pieces of candy from my child’s hidden trick-or-treat stash, I instantly start thinking about the kids’ Christmas lists. 

For most children, the holiday season is an exciting and magical time filled with delicious food, shiny decorations, gifts, and time off from school in exchange for time spent with family. For some parents, the holidays can be an exhausting time filled with to-do lists, deadlines, gift buying, high expectations and stress. For the most part, parents around the world work tirelessly to ensure their kids have a memorable and cherished holiday season. 

As a parent, you spend the holidays “doing” and “making.” You make sure to contribute to the teacher’s class gift and letting the bus drivers and coaches know you appreciate what they do for your children. You map out routes for your kids to see holiday light displays. You wake up panicked in the middle of the night, wondering if you moved that annoying and creepy elf. You make “reindeer food” for Christmas Eve, causing glitter to coat every inch of surface in your house. You help make gingerbread houses and cookies, which are always inedible because your children lick every finger, utensil and bowl in the kitchen. You triumphantly capture a picture with all your kids looking in the same direction, and mail out what feels like a bazillion cards. You eat cold eggs and pancakes at “Breakfast with Santa.”

After the holidays, when you should be resting, you’ll worry whether you did enough. Were the holidays magical? Were enough carols sung? Did you watch every one of the kids’ favorite holiday movies? Did the kids drink enough hot chocolate? When the kids are older and living on their own, will they look back on their childhood holidays and see all that we did? Will they appreciate the exhausting preparation we did to make cherished, lifelong memories? Will they want to continue our traditions with their own families?

Parents do so much each and every day, especially during the holidays, and get little or no recognition. Kids have no clue how much thought, effort and time parents put into the holiday season. 

But I know. 

I know how exhausted and stressed you are…but I also know how excited you are. 

I know that seeing the joy and wonder in your child’s eyes during the holiday season makes all the anxiety and worry disappear. All of the joy your child experiences throughout the holidays are a direct result of your hard work and love. You put the effort in to make your children feel loved and special. 

To all the parents flailing around in the eye of the holiday season storm, I see you. I raise my Christmas mug of eggnog up high and salute you. 

You are the magic of the holidays.

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