Finding the Holiday Magic

I finally got to see the magic of the holidays. I took my three year old to visit Santa for the first time. She asked to take Santa a letter of what she wanted for Christmas. So after a failed Santa attempt with a two hour wait I went the pay per view route. I signed us up for an event for cookies with Santa at a toddler play location. We walked in and I could almost see her heart skip a beat. She looked so small and so shy next to this old man. She held his hand, sat on his lap and handed over a home made letter with only two things that she wanted. My usual loud, controlling and strong willed child was in awe. I could tell she felt special and amazed. And just like the Grinch Story, my heart grew 3 sizes that day. We finished with a picture and I could see an extra pep in her step as she went to find something to play with. Santa walked around while the kids played and my daughter got to make him an ice cream cone. She was so proud of herself.

Growing up I didn't celebrate Christmas so as a parent I am wading through what the holidays should look like for my kids. Even telling the story of Santa for the first time to my toddler felt like lying since I never believed in him myself. After seeing her sense of wonder and innocence visiting Santa it makes a little more sense.

I've learned the holidays are for creating traditions and moments of magic that you get to carry with you forever. She may not remember this first Santa visit at 3 years old, but I know I will. I think she will remember the times driving around looking at lights and singing to the radio. We both will remember picking out an ornament each year. This year she picked out an ornament with a girl on a rocking horse while my youngest picked out an ornament of kittens. In 30 years when I put that same rocking horse and kitten ornament on my wonderfully mismatched tree I get to remember my girls a little better as toddlers.

So I am jumping in a bit more to this whole Christmas thing with an open mind and heart. I want my kids to remember doing silly family activities during the holidays. I want them to remember they always opened a Christmas eve present filled with books. I want them to experience giving to others. I want them to be able to count on one hand how many presents they received each year because it's not a race to see who gets the most in this world. 

So I am all ears to any memorable and amazing things you do with your children to create that magic. Except for the Elf on the Shelf; that is a no go for me.

Visiting the tree farm


  1. Layla, you have expressed what is in your heart yet again with insight, beauty, and awe. It was so good to see all of you this past weekend. We wish you and all of your family a very Merry Christmas!!
    Mary Williams

    1. What a compliment... so much appreciated!
      Merry Christmas to you as well.