Last Christmas we hardly bought any toys for our children.
How did they grow up so quickly?
The times of toy wonder are drawing to a close. My daughter still plays with Barbies and baby dolls. My youngest son is still entranced by Legos. But my oldest son thinks he’s outgrown toys.
Christmas feels different with older children, but it comes with new privileges.
Since they are older and more responsible, they are a huge help to me in our Christmas tasks. My boys carry boxes and put up Christmas lights and my daughter hangs ornaments on the tree. She is a budding baker, and really helps me out by mixing dough and decorating cookies. They are all more help with cleanup too, putting their gifts away and carrying boxes back to the basement. More help from my children equals a happier, more peaceful me and a more relaxing Christmas season.
Family gatherings focus more on quality conversation and board games than on gifts. Our children are old enough to play the same games adults play. My boys especially enjoy the banter and competition between generations. They also enjoy listening to stories from their grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
No need for naps makes travel much easier, and we can stay longer at each party.
We have more entertainment options than before. Last year we watched the movie Elf together and laughed ourselves silly. My daughter is old enough to enjoy a full-length Nutcracker ballet. I love the arts, and I look forward to enjoying more Christmas-themed productions with my older children.
My sons are hunters like their father, and over Christmas break they can participate in a youth hunt. My oldest son was so proud when he bagged a deer on an icy morning a few years ago. Hunting with our sons is one of my husband’s favorite Christmas activities now.
Best of all, we enjoy the Christmas story in a new way. Each morning in December, we take turns reading a short devotional. It’s neat that they are all old enough to read aloud and feel included. The children are old enough to discuss more details of the Christmas story and appreciate Jesus’ birth on a deeper level. And for the past two years, my oldest son has asked to attend the 11:00 p.m. Christmas Eve service just with me. He likes feeling special and grown-up, and I love the fact that he is already making Christmas worship a priority. In a few years we will all attend the late service together. We will begin a new tradition.
What is special about this age with your children?
What are you looking forward to this Christmas that is different from last year?
Blessings to you, Sarah
P.S. Today is Day 11 of 12 Days of Reader Tips for Christmas Peace. Be sure to leave a comment on my related Facebook post with your tip!
Copyright 2016 Sarah Geringer