If you ask most parents what their favorite part about Christmas is, I will bet that seeing the joy it brings to their kids would be at the top of that list. That is why so many parents do so much, to the point of even overloading themselves at times to make the magic happen. I know firsthand that it can be a lot, but I don’t hesitate to do it all every year because seeing their eyes light up when they see Santa, the amazement at going to see Christmas lights, the enjoyment that they get from making cookies, or the excitement they have as they run down the stairs on Christmas morning is all more than worth the pressure. I have gotten to experience that joy myself from some of my kids and there is nothing quite like it. But it was an excitement that unfortunately for many years was not shared between all my children.
For the majority of his life Damion didn’t find any joy in the Christmas season. I’m not going to say that he disliked it outright, he just wasn’t really interested in any of it. He may like getting a new toy, but most gifts he would leave unopened with no interest in seeing what was inside. He liked going to places to see family and friends, but nothing specific to it being Christmas would be of interest to him. And he could have cared less what our elf on the shelf was up to most days. For many years we would have him “try” the participation of whatever Christmas activity we were doing as a family to help show him what he was “supposed” to do but wouldn’t push it any further than that. I was never sure if his disinterest in the holiday was a lack of understanding for the “magic” that most kids see, or if it was just a Damion thing. Whatever the reason, it was our norm up until last year.
Last year was the first year that Damion was ever excited to see Santa and tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas. We ran into a couple of snags as he didn’t quite understand that he would have to wait until Christmas morning to actually get the gift he asked for but beyond that little hiccup, I was thrilled that he finally showed some interest in at least one part of the holiday. It may have been just a small step forward, and it may have taken him till age 9 to get there, but I was happy none-the-less.
Fast forward to this year. Not only is Damion aware that Christmas is upon us. He can’t wait! He has been asking since November started when we are going to put our Christmas tree up, “gotta get rid of the pumpkins” he would say every time he asked. As Thanksgiving showed up he just kept asking if it was time for Christmas, would tell me that he wanted to ask Santa for his present and he wanted to go see Christmas lights at Kings Island. I find him not only talking about a present this year but about all the little things that go along with our annual Christmas season. He has even been helping me put up my Christmas decorations and telling me I have to get rid of my thanksgiving nails (I get my nails painted once a month) because it is time almost time for Christmas. He is ready and is not missing any details.
It’s here, It’s finally here! The first year ever that Damion has a real interest in the whole Christmas season and everything that he knows we traditionally do as a family to celebrate. It feels like a long time coming. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if he was ever going to get to this point, but I can tell you that I may be more excited for Christmas this year than I ever have been because it is the first Christmas I have had where all 3 of my kids were excited. It just goes to show that it may take longer than you expect, but don’t write off that they will still get there in their own time. Let the countdown to Christmas begin.