Papa Don’t Preach: How a Two-Year-Old Taught Me to Love Christmas Again

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I haven’t really cared about Christmas or been truly excited about it for about 25 years. I was 13, it was 1987, and all I wanted was a Nintendo and a new fishing pole. After that, Christmas gradually lost its luster, until it became just another hustle-and-bustle holiday headache that I couldn’t wait to get past.

Until now.

There’s something about having kids – especially two-and-a-half-year-olds who randomly yell “SANTA CLAUS!” for no apparent reason – to make you appreciate Christmas once again. This is the same girl who will pick up our iPhone and carry on entire conversations with Santa. I wish I’d had that kind of access to the old man when I was a kid.

Here’s an example of my excitement: This year, for the first time in my life, I actually looked forward to putting up our Christmas tree. My wife “talked me into” putting it up last weekend after Thanksgiving (I used to be a mid-December kind of guy) and we she changed her mind and decided to do it this weekend, I was secretly disappointed.

I should have seen this transformation coming. I was excited about Halloween this year too, and I haven’t given a damn about that holiday since my last trick-or-treating session in 1985. But here we are, three weeks before the big day and I’m feeling something I haven’t felt since Ronald Reagan was president. Sure, it’s not the same kind of excitement when you know what’s inside all the gifts wrapped under the tree, but it’s still better than nothing.

The true test of my festive spirit will come on December 26. That’s when I usually tear down the Christmas tree in about 15 minutes flat and literally kick it to the curb. Will I be as quick to disassemble this year? Who knows, maybe I’ll leave it up until December 27. Crazy, I know, but having kids will do that to you.

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  1. Haha, so true! Kids change the way you view things. Thanks for sharing!

  2. So true! My son is only 2 and doesn’t quite get it yet, but I’m loving sharing the excitement and joy of this time of year with him!

  3. Amen! I lost my love for Christmas once I got into middle school… it somehow lost its magic. I remember when my daughter brought back the excitement- 2008 when she was 3 years old. That was when she could help decorate the tree, make cookies and goodies, and even gift-wrap 🙂

  4. Aw- I love it!!! At 2, H didn’t understand so I am impressed. I love the excitement!

  5. So true. I find myself doing so many things around the Holidays to help build up excitement.

  6. I love this concept! My 6 year old keeps asking me to open up an email account for him, but I never considered it. Knowing that services like this one are around now, I may just go ahead and open up an email account for him.

  7. It’s so amazing the excitement and joy we receive by watching our children! They really do change our views on alot of things!

  8. I totally laughed out loud about shouting Santa Claus randomly…you mean that’s not normal? I love Christmas, glad your little ones got you back into the spirit! Join the rest of us crazies on the Christmas train. Choo choo!

  9. I’ve always loved Christmas, but kids definitely make everything seem more enjoyable. I was in a rush to get my tree up this year because I wanted my daughter to feel the holiday spirit. I could not wait to decorate it with her and wrap all her gifts up snug under the tree. 🙂

  10. That’s interesting, in 1987 I had my 1st baby. That’s when I actually started loving it again!!! He was 9 months old and sooooo excited by the simply shiny things and bows and sitting in empty boxes… Won me right back over!

  11. I agree children make Christmas fun.

  12. I definitely agree. Having children has completely renewed my belief in magic again, Christmas went from a holiday of utter inconvenience to one I enjoy immensely!

  13. yes I think sometimes we get more excited than the kids! lol

  14. Kids allow you to see everything through new eyes!

  15. I feel the same way about amusement parks. The kids make it way better!

  16. I have always loved Christmas. I still decorate and the people next door think I’m crazy. They say I used to do that when my kids were little and I say yeah me too, but I still love Christmas and it’s my favorite holiday.

  17. kids really do change your persepective on so many things. Holidays especially it gets you excited again for holidays. I just love seeing kids happy

  18. My kids are the reason I love holidays. I never use to before they were born.

  19. I am trying desperately to get out of the bah humbug attitude I have on me at the moment. So many things this year make me feel so much less “in the Spirit” than years past.

  20. My 2 and a half year old has made me excited about holidays again. There is something contagious about seeing the world and all of its magic thru his eyes.

  21. Children completely change how we view Christmas. It’s like seeing the magic through their eyes all over again.

  22. This is have to agree. There was a time that I hated Christmas because the people around me are too focused on the material aspect of it. But when I had my daughter, Christmas is like a new affair. It’s like her extra birthday or something because it’s all about her really. Though I still feel annoyed at people who knocks on door and ask for donation “in the spirit of Christmas”.

  23. Isn’t it so crazy how having kids changes the holidays? They are all such a huge deal now! Enjoy that tree 🙂

  24. I’ve always enjoyed Christmas but not decorating, getting a tree, etc until I had my son. Now he usually gets us convinced to put up the tree mid November, and we do.

  25. Momma on the Rocks Momma on the Rocks says:

    You guys are right! Children really do make everything that much more exciting! Thanks for all your comments! It really makes me smile to hear your stories!

  26. Papa Don't Preach says:

    Good to hear I’m not alone in losing touch with the holidays before kids came along and brought the spirit back. I’m excited to see what other holidays she can brighten up for me. Easter? President’s Day?

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