I’ll be the first to admit that while teenagers have their perks, I miss the younger years like I miss being able to eat Ramen and cupcakes without gaining any weight.
This is the time of year the nostalgia hits me hard and my tear ducts work overtime because all I can do between Halloween and the New Year is see and remember the things I used to do with my children when they were sweet and acted like they loved me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that they are self-sufficient. I love that they don’t ask me for Christmas cookies, eggnog, or candy sixty-five times a day and that they don’t change their Christmas list after I’ve already bought them what they asked for the first time.
Also, the fact they work, drive, and have their own spending money to buy me gifts doesn’t suck either.
Christmas In Our House Isn’t Like it Once Was
But honestly, Christmas in our house isn’t like it once was. Believe me when I tell you I recreate the majestic feel in our house every single year trying to get bring teens’ holiday spirit back to life again.
So, the problem isn’t me at all—it’s my teenagers who just aren’t as in to the season as they used to be.
It feels like emptiness and heartbreak. And I’m telling you, that crap is hard for a mother to deal with. It’s not enough that their social lives take center stage and everything we do humiliates them, but on top of that they try and ruin the holidays with their lackluster reactions to all things festive, merry and bright.
This is the time moms of the world show their love through traditions, baking, buying, and being jolly but, honestly the holidays with teens can be a buzzkill for our soul.
Christmas with Teens vs. Christmas with Toddlers:
Teen years: They want electronics, studded snow tires for their cars, and sweatshirts that cost hundreds of dollars. They think their parents bleed money and don’t care about the little gold coins in the bottom of their stocking that they used to dig for every year.
Toddler years: They got excited over a Thomas the Train toothbrush and mouthwash and you feel drunk with the power of one-thousand mothers.
Teen years: They sleep in on Christmas morning and you’re the one dying to get downstairs and blast the Christmas music while opening gifts. You try and wake them up several times and try and talk yourself into sleeping in but you are too excited to see the look on their face when they see the magical trees, gifts, and smell the cinnamon rolls baking, but they literally don’t care about such things.
Toddler years: Your head got stepped on at 4am because our kids were so taken over by their excitement to see what Santa left them, they forgot their mother had feeling in her face. After you came to and saw them gasp with joy and the Christmas-morning scene, it was worth getting a foot in the eye.
Teen years: Trying to do things like decorate the tree, go to a Christmas Eve service, listen to holiday music, attend a play, or dress up for a holiday party are met with moans, groans, and an overall sense of feeling as though they are going to die.
Toddler years: Everything is epic. All the efforts you put in to make the season magical are taken to heart, believed, and appreciated. Also, they start asking to make Christmas cookies and throw their gift lists at you in August. You wish for them to slow their roll a bit because you are exhausted and running on sprinkles and wine, but you didn’t mean for all to shrivel up and blow away like it does when they hit puberty.
Even though times are different now, I still do all “the things” for my teens this time of year. Because even if they don’t appreciate (or notice it at all), there is a part of me that knows a few of my efforts will evoke something from their childhood and make them smile. Even if it’s hidden behind a very large person with ear buds in their ears who refused to show it.
It makes me happy to over-decorate the house, push sugar into their mouths, force them to wear matching pajamas. And, what mom wants counts this time of year. I’m still the boss and I’ll make my teens enjoy the season if it kills me.
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