A Transitional Christmas

A Transitional Christmas

We are having what I’ve dubbed a “Transitional Christmas” and it sucks…

They don’t not believe, but their faces don’t light up when the elves move.

They don’t directly ask if he’s real or not, but something about their eyes give it away.

They still talk excitedly about it, but mid way they almost catch themselves and tone it back a bit.

It’s a “Transitional Christmas”…and it sucks.

There’s a whole heap of reasons that Christmas can be really shitty.
Family problems, loneliness mourning a loved one, childhood trauma, I could go on and on. This is nothing in comparison…I completely get that, but it’s just where we are and it’s been tricky to put my finger on why it felt a bit sucky.

My two are at the age where I am 99.9% certain they no longer believe.
The eldest doesn’t, I’m sure of it. He still wants to, and is probably a bit sad about it all, but he’s ok.
My youngest…she knows, I’m almost certain she knows. She doesn’t want to ask directly, because she’s scared of the answer she knows is coming.

And I can’t bring myself to just say it. I can’t bring myself to actually rip that Band-Aid off.

You know what part has really thrown me though?
It truly took a long time for me to work out what was going on, why I was feeling so sucky about Christmas this year and I’m sure at least some of you can relate.

See, I’m still putting in all the effort, but the sparkling wonder and magic, that lights up their faces, has gone.

That’s the best part about Christmas when you have kids.

That’s what makes the late nights wrapping worth it.
It’s the pay off, for smuggling presents around like a drug lord.
It magically turns stress and tension, into warm fuzzy feelings of joy.

And when it’s gone… it sucks.

But not only is it gone, in a “Transitional Christmas”…

It’s gone, AND they’re better at finding the hiding spots.

It’s gone, AND they stay up later so you basically have to pull an all nighter to sneak gifts into stockings.

It’s gone, AND you’ve still been rushing and preparing and sneaking and hiding and all those things that make Christmas so special.

It’s gone, so there’s no reward, there’s no pay off, there’s no face lit up with wonder.

And I get that sounds a little selfish, but I was full of Christmas “meh” this year and I just couldn’t quite put my finger on why. Then it clicked.
All the effort, all the stress, all the energy…with no payoff. Who wouldn’t feel a bit “meh”?

Now I’ve realised, I can adjust my attitude and expectations.
So we carry on, but I’m a little lost.

I try to talk less about “Santa” doing things and focus on how the “magical” things that happen, make us feel.

The magic of laying your stocking out Christmas Eve and it’s so flat, then the delight you feel when it’s all lumpy and bumpy full in the morning.

I’m wondering what Christmas morning will bring this year? Will they be excited? Will they be little kids and bask in the magic? Who knows…
Thankfully it’s the one day of the year that champagne is totally acceptable for breakfast.
In case it goes incredibly poorly, what’s our stance on whiskey at 5am Christmas Day?

I kid, but I am a little nervous. I’m sure future years will be back to something that feels more comfortable, familiar and beautiful. Different, very different, but still beautiful.

I’ll be thanking the heavens I won’t have to be smuggling presents around and sneakily filling stockings in the wee hours… but I’ll miss it.

I’ll forget this sucky transitional year and I’ll only remember their sweet faces lighting up and all the magical joy and wonder.

But if you’re in a funk this Christmas, and you can’t quite put your finger on it, maybe you’re in a transitional year too? 
I’m right here with you.
I’ll be saying sláinte to both of us Christmas morning, with my whiskey neat and hidden in a coffee cup!

If you have any wise words, or sage advice…do let me know, I’m needing all you’ve got!
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