Slideshow Widget

Teenage Christmas

17 Dec 2006



Christmas doesn't feel quite right this year. I think it is because we are doing it on our own. My sister is working the night shift on Christmas Eve so she is having a quiet lunch with her partner and visiting in the afternoon. Her children will be with their father so we will see them a few days before Christmas. My brother and his family are not coming up for Christmas as they have house guests. The family that we usually spend time with around Christmas have gone away for the holiday this year. My parents will be with us and my mother-in-law but no one of my generation or younger will be here for lunch. I don't cope well with change as you can see.




The children are getting older ofcourse and that also changes Christmas. My daughter, at 9, is on the verge of figuring out Father Christmas and the boys are well past that. So the focus has to change but I'm not sure how. I guess this is a transition year. It's important to me that the Christmas celebration doesn't become an anti climax. It has always been a much anticipated family celebration as well as a religious festival and teenage Christmas is, well, different.




Christmas with little ones is full of high emotion as the children get overtired with excitment and anticipation. Teenage Christmas is a much cooler affair with spirits easily dashed if traditions change but a feeling that change is inevitable. It is very likely that I am feeling all of this much more than my family because as the person who "makes" Christmas I have always had a much bigger stake in what I perceive as the success or failure of the day/season.




My eldest son said the other day that our family is different from those of his friends: I waited for the damning deconstruction of our family. What came was a nice surprise, he said we seem to get on well and like each other, we enjoy each others company. Lets hope we can gather as friends around the table on Christmas Day to enjoy each other without having to have crowds of extended family to make the day feel special.


12 Responses to “Teenage Christmas”

  1. I think what your son said about your family should be reassuring for all the Christmasses yet to come... The Magic might have gone but Christmas will be THE time to get together. You still can make it special.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember feeling the very same way as my youngest was on the verge of feeling differently about Christmas. Now that the children are all grown, its different still. I sometimes feel that we are forcing ourselves to have the Christmas spirit, but now, knowing next christmas will have some wee ones, brings it full circle. Such is the cycle of life !

    ReplyDelete
  3. I learned a long time ago that I was not able to keep duplicate the Christmases of my youth. It was at the time and place back then (think 1950's), not now. Christmas was fun when my children were little, but as they got older, things changed. I adjusted. Now two of six children are now married. Five of the six are adults. Things have changed again. When your children get married you become a mother-in-law. That is not to say that my husband and I have a bad relationship with our children or children-in-law. Things are just different. We are anticipating that when the grandchildren get older, Christmas will change again. It took me a long time to understand that my expectations for Christmas are not what I have been told or seen through those lovely nostalgic books, videos, and memorabilia. Christmas is the relationships that we have today. My husband and I try to look at the holiday in real time. As your children talk about Christmases past, you will be surprised about what they consider their fondest memories. They are not always what you think. Sometimes the small things count much more than you thought at the time. This season when we get together with my parents and parents-in-law who are showing their age and health, I will look back with bittersweet memories as well. I understand what you are going through and will be thinking of you this holiday season!
    Gigi

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can only second what Patty said, it is the cycle of life, I feel it too. Ive tried to bring in some new traditions, some work, some dont.
    The photos on your entry today are so beautiful!
    Take care

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes Christmas does change over the years, I have 3 teenagers this year and I have to admit that the sheer excitment has gone, but I'm sure we that all of us and our families will have a wonderful time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Unlurking - delurking whatever. But just to say that although things do change, the memories of the days before still become a part of the new Christmas. Whether stated or unstated, those involved will have perhaps secret smiles as they remember things important to them. And possibly totally unremembered by the others.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have the same thing going on here. My oldest daughters are 15 and 18 and my youngest is 5. I feel like I am straddling two worlds sometimes! The little kids are excited while the older ones kind of know the scoop, they have lost that Christmas magic. ;(

    But you know, I am still a Christmas-nut so I know it will be fun!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I always hate at first when things are changing, I want everything to be like it has always been. But when I get used to the changes I mostly like them more than the time before. And if you and I are thinking of all the Christmas´ we had since our childhood, what a lot of differences between them all. It is sad, of course, when people we love cannot celebrate it with us, but I also think, that even celebrated as a couple it has it´s own magic and as you´ve said, there is no need of a crowded house, nor the believing in an exiting Santa Claus, to feel the Christmas spirit. And as long as you all love the ones you´re with, it will be a wonderful evening and day anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your son's comment is touching, a wonderful success.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm sorry you're feeling a little down Jenny. However, your son's comment illustrates the firm foundations you have in your family life, you're doing your job very well...and that's something you should be very proud of...that and the bloody cricket, sob, sob, sob.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Jenny,
    Your post has struck very close to home for me. Over the last several years we have undergone similar changes~our celebrations are no longer the big family gatherings they once were, as many relatives have moved away; and there are no longer any 'excited' little ones- my own kids now 16 & 18. And like you, I don't cope well with change! I have been trying to think of some new traditions, like Tan mentioned... I hope you find what works for you and your family. I agree with the others that your son's statement is evidence that you are doing a great job as a parent! Debbie

    ReplyDelete
  12. OH my goodness... that little girl on the phone Santa postcard is about the cutest, sweetest, most darling Christmas postcard I have EVER seen! Is it yours? Or is it just an image you have? I LOVE it! Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.