Most of us anticipate Christmas each year and excitedly count down the days and weeks until it arrives. Then once it’s here we feel depressed
because it goes by so quickly and it doesn’t always live up to our expectations. For many of us, the Christmas we anticipate no longer exists and here is a few reasons why.
So many people long for the Christmas they once knew, constantly trying to regain it’s magic. The reality is that the Christmas we experiences in youth is fleeting, like so many things experienced at that tender age. Whether it’s the excitement of a mysterious stranger arriving unseen with presents in the middle of the night or the large family gatherings including two or three generations, it doesn’t last forever.
So, how does one recapture that magic, that feeling that can only exist once a year? Well, I don’t have the complete answer, but here are a few ideas that can help recreate that feeling and will add to your holiday.
Try having a house party and invite as many of your younger relatives and friends as possible. If it is before Christmas then make sure Santa pays a visit. You will quickly see that excitement on the children’s faces you remember so well.
Try inviting some relatives you haven’t seen lately and take plenty of pictures and videos. The more people you surround yourself with on Christmas the more you begin to recapture that feeling that comes with this special day once a year.
Another suggestion is that you put the memory searching on hold for part of the day . Don’t just sit there and wait for a familiar scene to re-enact itself in front of you. If you do, you may end up missing another great moment that is taking place instead. Memories are precious and often what we hold dearest as the years add up, but they can be deceiving. A minute remembered from one Christmas is added to one from the next year and then the next and soon you have an entire memory that never really existed as a whole.
I have personally taken a few minutes over the past years to sit and soak in the scene before me on Christmas Eve or day. Perhaps it’s that moment just before I come bursting through the door as Santa Claus for the kids at my parents house on Christmas Eve. Or, maybe it’s while I sit on the couch watching my rapidly growing sons open their presents on Christmas morning. Aside from the pictures and videos I take every year, I also secure in my mind a memory from each year to add to the long list already assembled.
Another way to enjoy a gathering of friends or relatives is to sit around and share Christmas family memories. Listening to your brother or sister give a different version of a shared moment can be fun. You may also get Mom or Dad to share some insight on how tough it may have been for them in year’s past to fulfill the many requests you and your siblings had. Often parents never tell their children how much they sacrificed or searched for just the right gift because they never wanted to reveal how hard it was creating the fantasy.
One of my favorite lines from a movie deals with happiness and it went like this “happiness is nothing more than having something to look forward to”. That to me is one of the biggest reasons why Christmas is so popular. It is also why the holiday may leave some of us lacking. The buildup and anticipation is so great that it is almost impossible for the day to match it.
As a child, I remember Christmas to be a whirlwind of parties and relatives the entire week until New Years. Coming from a large family, we would visit and in-turn be visited by all of our Aunts and Uncles. That meant seeing everyone’s presents and sampling plenty of goodies and treats. Of course we all lived within ten or fifteen minutes of each other so it was easy. Now, with many homes having both parents working and on different schedules it’s not so easy. Not to mention the drastic change in the family itself, with many kids having one full time parent and maybe a step Mom or Dad.
Finally, one thing you need to remember is that your children and young relatives are experiencing their magical Christmas memories right now. While you are searching for that Christmas magic your kids are living it for themselves. This may be the special Christmas that your son or daughter will always remember. Help them enjoy it while they can, because it won’t be long before they may start wondering where all the magic went as well.