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Patty Craig: A Slice of Time

Patty Craig

I recently read an article entitled “18 Ways Christmas Has Changed since You Were a Kid” (2017). The author, Emma Deering, said that as we age, the Christmas magic changes and listed some of those changes. Three were:  

-Practical gifts are what you want.

-Seeing family becomes your favorite part of the holidays.

-Everything becomes a little more about giving and a little less about receiving.

Thinking about how others might see these changes, I asked friends and family, “How has Christmas changed from when you were a kid to now in your adult years?” Their responses are listed below:

-We didn’t use to go as much at Christmas. We stayed home and spent more time with family at home.

-I miss the magic of all the festivities happening on Christmas Day. All the family awoke Christmas morning to open Christmas surprises, then travel to grandparents to celebrate with ALL the family.

-Oh, how I miss the simplicity of a child’s Christmas. We were poor, but I didn’t know it. Now Christmas consists of trying to figure out what to gift someone who already has everything. However, we, my generation, created this, as our primary goal was to give our children more than we had.

-My parents did all the work to create magic and now it’s up to me. Most of the shopping now is online. Kids don’t get ideas for their gifts from TV commercials or mail-out flyers and catalogues. They get them from TikTok and YouTube. Pictures are posted on social media. Mailing cards is not the norm for everyone.

-As a child, we had things during Christmas that we did not have any other time of the year, like fruit, nuts, orange slices, chocolate drops, etc. Now I try to make the magic for my grown children and my grandchildren.

-More stressful and seems to be much busier than it used to seem.

-As a kid, I was focused on getting presents, being out of school, and spending time with my extended families. As an adult, I’m focused on giving presents, enjoying the traditions like the Christmas hymns at church, trying to rest a little, and spend time with my family.

-There’s too much commercialism. People make it all about how much you spend, travel, etc. It seems that each year the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of our Savior – is less important. I loved it when we did a lot of Christmas church-inspired activities. Families spent time together. Gifts were more heart felt, even homemade. I guess I’m trying to say it was a more simple way of celebration.

-I’m sure that the adults felt it was too busy, but as a child, I didn’t feel rushed or busy. As an adult, I feel that there are only a few days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day and I don’t really get to slow down and enjoy.

-Now kids have everything already, so anticipation is decreased. As an adult, I no longer find joy in commercial Christmas, but only in the spiritual aspect.

-As an adult, I understand and appreciate more about how parents go to the lengths they do creating Christmas as well as how much their time and effort doing so is worth.

-I think that since I was young up until now Christmas has changed quite a lot. We do so many presents and decorating and make Christmas a big deal. I don’t remember that when I was a kid.

-So much is different as a child at Christmas than as an adult. But the most startling difference to me is the difference in the speed with which time moved between Thanksgiving and Christmas when you are a child versus when you’re an adult. It’s molasses as a child and lightning as an adult.

As Dr. Seuss said, “Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.” The Grinch was right. Luke 2:7, one of my favorite verses about the birth of Jesus, says: “…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (NIV). Christmas was intended to be a celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth – a remembrance. 


May you and yours have a blessed Christmas!


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