Kids everywhere wait all year for the Christmas season. And if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s pretty likely most adults, do, too!
It’s such a magical time of year for children and families, and for folks fortunate enough to have fond memories of childhood holidays, it’s especially nostalgic. Not only do we get to re-visit our own sweet Christmases but we get to try and recreate the most special parts of the holiday for our own families, too.
Back in the “olden days” (cough, cough), the Advent calendars that counted down the days until December 25th had tiny seasonal pictures concealed behind glittery numbered paper doors. Today’s lucky kids enjoy chocolate Advent calendars, with a candy treat tucked behind each day’s paper door. While there’s a lot to be said about how great old-fashioned Christmases are, there’s something appealing about a chocolate chaser after breakfast every day. Today’s kids may be onto something here…
In some families, Santa used to deliver the tree, decorate it, and leave the presents underneath, all on Christmas Eve. And then after a few years, Santa got kind of tired and started to let kids and parents choose and decorate their own tree earlier in December. It’s one childhood tradition where maybe it’s good that it fell by the wayside. Today’s Santa might not have the stamina that old Santa had for that kind of thing, you know? After all, Santa’s busy at the mall, waiting for kids to come and visit and share their Christmas wish lists…
The nice thing about visits with Santa at the mall is that it’s one holiday tradition that has literally not changed — at all — in decades. How many moms and dads can put up Christmas photos of kids crying on Santa’s lap right next to pictures of themselves (maybe even wearing those same holiday outfits!) crying on Santa’s lap.
Dear old Santa also gets to enjoy homemade Christmas cookies year after year. It’s funny how much we come to look forward to the traditional family recipes. Dishes that, as kids we’d throw a fit over, now get pride of place at the table. Of course, now the tables are turned, and yesterday’s kids are now the parents trying to cajole their own kids into eating mashed turnips or creamed spinach or some other “unusual” vegetable.
Lucky parents may have a chance to relax in front of a fireplace and let all that dinnertime drama go as they sip wine or maybe a mug of tea after the kids are tucked in. Alternatively, there’s always the same holiday movies year after year on television — we gripe as we sit and watch them year after year, but we know all the words and recite them to each other, like affectionate shorthand from holidays past. As the kids grow older and lobby to stay up later and watch with us, they eventually pick up the lines themselves and participate, carrying the inside jokes further, to a new generation for whom “fragile” is their first “Italian” word, and the Griswolds become like long-lost cousins.
It sounds materialistic but presents are a big part of Christmas, although, perhaps more for parents than children. While kids always have a wish list, parents put so much effort into making those wishes come true, it becomes more than just “stuff”. Moms and dads and family members know very well how cold the world can be, and to give a child the gift of magic, of belief and trust in wishes made and fulfilled, is a very special thing.
Pictures and video from Christmases past become treasured holiday heirlooms. It’s so much fun to see how children have grown, and bittersweet to remember good times with family members no longer with us. As many of us move toward recording big moments in our lives through social media, it’s changed the method of memory, from physical scrapbooks and photo albums to digital Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and similar content.
Keeping and sharing favorite memories that have been recorded in social media or on digital devices is a powerful and important way of keeping family traditions going. In this sense, Kumbu makes it easy to save, access, and share those files anytime. And unlike that box of ornaments that goes up and down from the attic every year, these won’t end up broken!
I’m Arnaud Bressier co-Founder of Kumbu — the Souvenir Box for the Digital Era. Please share this article if you like it, thanks! And of course, Merry Christmas to all of you!