The past few years, I have participated in the Blogger Virtual Advent tour. I've talked about some of our family traditions; some of the things that make the holidays special to the Toland Family. This year is going to be a little different.
For the past 13 years, Santa Claus has been a big part of the Christmas tradition for us. Yes, the kiddies know that Christmas is actually a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. But face it. With kids in the house, there is always the idea of Santa Claus! But I have a sinking feeling that this will be the last year for the man in the bright red suit. Chad, at 13, has spent the last few years actually helping me with the girls' presents. But this year, Miss Bella informed me she no longer believes. With Ana so close in age to Bella, I can see the end in sight.
There have been many years in the past, at 2 a.m., as I was stuffing stockings or putting together toys like the Princess Kitchen that I longed for the days for all the "sneaky" stuff to be over. Longed to be in bed at a civilized hour, sleeping like the rest of the family. But now that the time has come, I feel an overwhelming sadness that my kids are growing up. How has this happened? It seems like only yesterday we were standing in lines at the mall, Ana hiding behind my legs trying to get a glimpse of Santa Claus, too scared to actually sit on his lap unless I was there to hold her hand. Or Chad, big and brave, all ready to jump up on St. Nick's lap, with a smile on his face. Or Bella, with a HUGE list in hand, ready to let the jolly fat man know exactly what she wanted under the tree.
Every year, our school has a Santa Breakfast: pancake and sausage breakfast, Santa and Mrs. Claus sitting in big fat chairs handing out candy canes after listening to every child's wish list; crafts for the holidays, and lots of music. Yesterday, we attended probably our last. The girls were more interested in playing with their friends than sitting on Santa's lap (though the girls did make the effort, just in case!)
Every year we leave Santa a plate of cookies and milk (one year, I even suggested a sandwich and soda to wash it down...I think I missed out on Christmas Eve dinner because of work!) And every year, Rudolph gets a special treat as well. Usually an apple or a carrot, especially for him. Sometimes we sprinkle "reindeer" food outside the door. It's made with oatmeal and glitter, and looks so pretty on the snow. And if there is snow, always walking around outside in Mike's big boots, leaving a trail of footprints.
I love that my kids are getting older and we are able to enjoy our time together doing activities. And I'm sure that Christmas will be just as special for them, even if they don't believe in Santa any longer. The sadness will definitely be mine alone. If this is any indication of future events, I don't think I will gracefully accept the idea that my children are growing up!!
Don't forget to stop by the other Day 6 participants in this year's Advent tour:
Melissa @ Book Nut
Chris @ Stuff As Dreams are Made On
Lily @ Reading Extravaganza
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND BLESSINGS TO ALL OF YOU!!