Christmas isn’t just for children

blogDSCN8249Christmas, in the eyes of children, must be the most magical time of the year.

I’m far from childhood, but the sights, sounds, scents, and memories of Christmas always boost my spirit.

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

A couple of weekends ago, hubby and I rounded up two of our three adult children plus one (oldest daughter’s Best Beau) and summoned them home from the city for a day.  We planned a special outing to a spot they had never visited, which reminded me of treks we took when they were little to see various Christmas light displays in whatever area of the country we were living at the time.

blogDSCN8246So the five of us piled in the car traveling north for a day excursion, where we spent several hours in a child’s fantasy land.   Well-known in our neck of the woods is a store named Kraynak’s,  a home and garden store that becomes a fantasy land twice a year every year.

During the Christmas season, folks line up outside in the cold, wintry air to enter the store just to venture through its Santa’s Christmasland,  a 300-foot long seasonal display which prompts lots of oohs and aahs.  In the spring, another display called Easter Bunny Lane attracts visitors.  And it’s all free.

Of course, it’s difficult to vacate this huge store without purchasing something because there is a gift shop, garden center, room after room stock piled with every Christmas decoration known to mankind, and the most sought-after section for families with children – the toy store!  Every kind of toy, from the latest gadget to the simplest toy from yesteryear, perches on the shelf waiting to be purchased.

blogDSCN8255If you enjoy erecting an electric train display to circle the Christmas tree, there is an entire section for those enthusiasts.  All five of us ambled down the toy store aisles exclaiming over our finds.    Fun for young and old kids alike!

And then we visited the candy aisles….the child in all of us and our sweet tooth truly surfaced.  We left the store with our Christmas spirits lifted and our wallets emptier, but it was a good feeling.

We filled our growling stomachs by grabbing some lunch at a nearby restaurant, which turned out to be advantageous before we ventured down the street to another special spot, Daffin’s Candies to visit their Chocolate Kingdom.

If the inviting scent of chocolate greeting you the moment you step inside doesn’t whet your appetite for this creamy candy, viewing a village made completely of chocolate, including a 400 pound chocolate turtle, will!  And then you get to taste a free sample chocolate made right there at the shop.  Of course, that seals the deal, you have to buy some candy!

blogDSCN8248The day proved whimsical and it transported us back to happy days of Christmas merriment.    As we meandered our way back home at the end of the day,  oldest daughter’s beau remarked, “This really was fun!”

And he was right, it really was fun, but more than that, it was a day to make lasting Christmas memories, even though our children are not children any longer but are mature adults.   I’ve been known to lament that Christmas isn’t as fun anymore because we have no wee ones in our midst, but today, Chapter 12 on page 12 in my Opportunity book, I’ve realized that Christmas magic doesn’t happen just for children.

“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveler, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!”  ~ Charles Dickens


21 responses

  1. Loved this, Mama, and the wonderful quotes you included. I may not decorate for Christmas, but I am definitely not a bah, humbug type of person. I still find the season magical, even without little children around. Thank you for letting me go on you outing with your family.


  2. I just love this post! How wonderful that you rounded up the family and, “really did have fun!” 🙂 I think these outings with your grown children are just as important for them (and you) as the ones you took when they were younger. Especially because now the outings are filled with memories of days gone by, warming the days you’re walking through right now.


    • Our outing was great, but we missed our son, who of course, lives in that state next door. And we missed middle daughter’s fiance, who is busy taking finals in grad school, and son’s girlfriend who lives far away too. Someday soon, I hope we get to do a family gathering when everyone can come. I’m sad you were the only one who could go to the play. Hope you found someone to go along!


  3. What a magical excursion you planned for your family. It’s amazing the opportunities all around us to renew, recharge and here, experience the magic of Christmas. Thank you for the beautiful pictures that give us a real good idea of how lovely a place Kraynak’s is. I wonder what is the other time of year they do this?
    Guess what? Daughter #2 and son-in-law will be with us on Christmas morning after all! She called last night with plans to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with us, then inviting us to be with his sister, parents in from CA and grandparents in the afternoon. It’ll be a full day. Our Christmas plans are taking shape. Sometimes…perhaps, usually…we mamas have to hang back and let things naturally happen.


    • It was magical and our grown up kids enjoyed it because they had never been there before. Kraynaks is a fun place and they have an Easter Bunny land during the Easter season. I am so excited for you that you will be spending time with family and extended “family” for Christmas! That is so wonderful!!! You’re so right, sometimes we mamas do have to “hang back and let things naturally happen.” I’m sure that’s a lesson I will learn quickly as my kiddos marry and there are other families to consider at holiday time.


    • Isn’t he the cutest? That scene reminded me of my own childhood — not the dog, because we had cats — but the jammies and the old TV set and looking out the window to see if Santa could be spotted flying by. Truly a nostalgic scene and I loved it!


  4. Every year at this time I am drawn to the memories of Christmas when our kids were small and cherish those times. Now our grown son lives fairly close and one of our favorite times is when we all go out into the forest and bring back our Christmas tree. On that day, we all become more like children again.


  5. Oh, that sounds like fun. And it must have made your day to have your daughter’s “beau” make that comment.
    This place reminds me of one we used to take my son to when he was little. There were all sorts of scenes with animated characters, there was a candy shop, and a gift shop, and a toy store….! Thanks for reminding me of that!


    • It’s does our hearts and minds good to remember the things that made us smile, doesn’t it? I’m glad my post reminded you of the place you went. And you’re right, hearing daughter’s beau’s comment did make my day! But he’s such a sweetie anyhow.


  6. Isn’t it nice when these kinds of moments happen as adults? Somehow makes it seem all the more special because it’s a group type of bonding rather than parents trying to make little ones ‘get it’. I am so enjoying this time with my adult children, it seems so much merrier than when they were young.


    • I know! Who would have thought? I think when the kids are still little, so much of the focus is on them. Once they’re older, the focus is more on family times and enjoying each other’s company. At least, that’s my theory. 🙂


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