Caitlin Adams On What Kids Really Remember About The Holidays

Friends, I have officially entered holiday panic mode. I won’t bore you with the gory details, but let’s just say that, with Christmas only five days away, I am decidedly behind on, well, pretty much everything. So this week’s column by (the wise beyond her years) Caitlin Adams couldn’t have come at a better time, as she reminds us that, for kids, it’s the small moments that make a truly lasting impression.


By Caitlin Adams

This is my first holiday season in Dallas, and from swapping recipes to hanging strings of holiday lights on my balcony, everything about it has me positively giddy. This time of year has always been my favorite, and I owe all my holiday enthusiasm to my momma.

My mom has celebrations down to a science. If there’s a holiday she can acknowledge, it’s to be full-blown bash, so it’s no surprise that these festivities are one of the things I remember most about growing up. Valentine’s morning we woke up to heart shaped pancakes, Christmas was the time to hang our homemade ornaments on the tree, and come Halloween, she would stretch a life size gauzy spider web across our front door that left trick-or-treaters performing ninja moves to get their hands on candy. We might have even set up a May Day pole one year.

No matter how hectic life got, our mom was sure to give each holiday the attention she thought it deserved. And trust me, it got hectic. Sometimes we were up wrapping each other’s gifts mere hours before exchanging on Christmas morning, but regardless of the insanity, she did everything she could to make these moments special for our family and those closest to us. Case in point: to this day, she hand writes more than 260 holiday cards, while juggling family wish lists and more parties than I care to count. (Did I tell you she’s superwoman?)

All too often, we get so caught up with the craziness of life that we forget the little things (guilty as charged over here). Life sneaks up on us and we end up cutting corners and drop the ball on something that could have been spectacular. Maybe it’s buying a frozen pie rather than making your favorite recipe, or waiting until the last minute to buy garland only to discover that every store is sold out.

That’s just life, but that doesn’t mean it has to stop you from making the best of the season. I remember a few times when my mom wanted to throw in the towel and skip the holidays all together, but she put on a brave face and forged ahead. And you know what? When the years pass, we forget about those moments that had us a wit’s end and remember instead the little moments of pure joy.

So be sure to slow down this holiday season and make it a special one. It doesn’t have to be monumental, even the smallest holiday tradition will make a lasting impression. Maybe it’s enlisting your youngsters’ help to make gingerbread cookies or singing carols around the neighborhood, just be sure to soak up all the season has to offer. Time is fleeting and before you know it, we will be welcoming a new year and all the chaotic moments it is sure to throw our way.