How to Enjoy the Holidays Like a Kid Again

by: Charise Rohm Nulsen
The holidays change as you get older and have kids. They become more stressful. When you have to worry about holiday travel, finding the perfect gift, and playing Santa, it's easy to forget the magic of the holiday season. Here are three ways you can enjoy the holidays like a kid again and keep the magic alive for years to come.
mom and daughter watching santa in sky

Special childhood holiday memories have a way of staying with us like no other. Whether it’s presents under the tree, lighting a family menorah, delicious holiday treats, or special winter pajamas, those memories are still visceral for us - even now in motherhood. It’s easy to remember the pure magic and uncontainable excitement of those childhood holidays, though those memories can seem more like a lingering dream with each passing year.

More: Holidays with Kids: How They Change When You Become a Parent

Somewhere along the line, as age and responsibility and stress create a new normal for moms, the excitement of the holidays can get a bit lost. Sure, we feel that total dedication to making the holidays magical for our children, but do we take the time to allow ourselves to experience that holiday magic too? If we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is that it probably doesn’t happen often enough.

Maybe we’ve lost sight of the holiday magic that we as moms can still experience for a while, but it doesn’t mean that this year can’t be different. A new holiday season has begun, and it is a new chance for us to recreate the magic of our childhood holidays - both for our children AND ourselves. Remember, the best way to teach our kids is to model what we want to teach with our own actions and behavior. By allowing ourselves as moms to enjoy the holidays again like kids, we will be adding to the entire family’s magical holiday experience.

Here are some tried and true ways to enjoy the holidays like a kid again which follow a simple yet magical formula - Experience, Believe, Create:

Experience

It’s so easy to have all holiday experience choices revolve around what our kids would like to do, and of course, we should honor their special childhood time. This doesn’t mean that we as moms have to sacrifice all of our own holiday experiences to prioritize their schedules though. Think about what would feel like a special experience for YOU this season. Here are a couple of fun options:

An annual holiday date night with your partner or that special someone in your life. Dress up, surprise each other with plans, and do something festive. Some time together to reconnect during this busy season at a cozy restaurant or tavern by the fire or a peaceful hike through the snow can go a long way for both of you.

Gather your girlfriends for the holidays. Create some holiday magic with your favorite girls where you can laugh and vent and de-stress together. Maybe it’s a holiday baking party or an ornament exchange. Or a holiday movie marathon night in pajamas. Or maybe it’s simply treating yourselves to that movie or musical or concert that your partner and kids have no interest in seeing. Either way, taking time to experience the magic of friendship during the holidays is something we all deserve.

Here are our all-time favorite chick flicks to watch during the holiday season:

Believe

Whether it’s believing in a higher power that has to do with religion or spirituality or nature, or whether it’s simply renewing your faith in humanity, as many people say, don’t forget the reason for the season. Some of the most powerful holiday magic possible can come from putting your faith into action.

Feel your belief as part of a community. Attend a religious service, participate in a meditation or yoga class, or find a special way to connect with nature with a hiking or snowshoeing or ski group. The power of being with others who believe as you do brings a level of reverence and magic to this special season.

More: How Meditation Gets Me Through the Holiday Season as a Parent

Give and help in a meaningful way that puts your faith into action. There is nothing that feels more magical than helping others. When we give our time to better the lives of others, it’s the greatest gift we can give. It is also such a good feeling to focus on the real meaning of the season and to step away from the consumerism and stress that can often accompany the season. Reflect on which causes really have a place in your heart this season, and find a way to help.

Here are some ideas on how you can volunteer as a family:

Create

Be a maker. The holiday season is the perfect time to create in whatever form you truly enjoy. Whether it’s writing, drawing, painting, crafting, baking, or singing, the options to be creative are endless. The best part is that you can take the time to cherish the creative process to make your own magic, plus what you create can often double as gifts to share with others too.

You can even involve the kids with these simple Washi tape crafts:

Try something new. This is such a fun time of year to try a new form of creativity that has always interested you. Have you always wanted to learn to tango or make candles or throw pottery? Gift yourself with the magic of having the opportunity to learn something new. This can also be a great way to do something special with your partner or girlfriends this season!

No matter how you choose to experience, believe, and create this season, the most important part is making the commitment to experience the holiday magic that you deserve. You CAN enjoy the holidays like a kid again, and the exciting part is that you now have control over exactly how it happens. You’ll also be modeling a very important lesson for your children. Holiday magic never has to go away, and even if it’s been lost, it can always be found again.

For more holiday fun, tips, and inspiration, follow our official Pinterest board: