20 Reasons Why Christmas with Teens Rocks

Christmas was great when our kids were toddlers, but nothin' beats the holidays when you have teenagers

by Nancy Reynolds

This post: 20 Reasons Why Christmas with Teens Rocks 

Written by: Katy M. Clark 

“Ugh, I’m out of food coloring!” I cried, peering into the cupboard. It was the last thing I needed to finish the Christmas cookies I had spent half the day baking.

I was so tired of making what seemed like daily runs to the grocery store. In fact, I’d been there so many times, Sue (the cashier in checkout lane six) and I were now on a first-name basis and on the verge of becoming best buddies.

That’s when I turned to my teenage son, 17, sitting on the couch scrolling through his phone. 

“Heeeeeeey,” I said. “Could you go to the store for me and get me food coloring, pleeeaaase?” 

“Sure,” he replied.

No begging or nagging, no negotiation or pleading – he just sprang up, grabbed the car keys off the kitchen counter, and took off. It was like I had my own Christmas elf! Which, by the way, is one of the many awesome perks of celebrating the holiday season with big kids. 

I mean, sure, when our kids become teens the magic of Santa is gone, however, as my teen son and daughter have shown me as they’ve grown older, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate the magic of the holidays! In fact, I’ll go as far to say that Christmas with teens actually rocks! 

20 Reasons Why Christmas with Teens Rocks


#1 They’re Still Kids at Heart

Sure, they might wear size 11 shoes and be able to apply makeup better than we do, but our teens are still kids at heart… only bigger! Don’t be fooled. They still want to leave a plate of cookies out for Santa. They still want to pile in the car and drive around to admire the holiday lights. Their faces still light up with joy when opening gifts. 

#2 Not Having to Be Santa Takes the Pressure Off

Christmas with teens rocks because you no longer fret so much about being Santa, hiding presents, or staying up past midnight every night wrapping presents. I don’t stress about pulling packages off the front porch before my kids see them or scrambling to obtain that deeply desired, yet widely unavailable toy they just have to have. (Don’t even ask me about the hoops I had to jump through to get my kids Zhou Zhou pets one year!)

#3 Traditions Mean More to Teenagers

Whether it’s putting out the sock snowman they made in first grade, using Grandma’s recipe to make molasses cookies or decorating the tree as a family, teens genuinely appreciate tradition and connection with loved ones around the holidays.

#4 Teens Don’t Pout When They Receive Clothes as Gifts

Remember the pouty faces or whiny voices as youngsters when they opened gifts and discovered clothes? Now my son is stoked to get a hoodie and my daughter is giddy to see duds from her favorite store. 

#5 And, if They’re Disappointed, They’re Mature Enough to Handle It

It’s not like that time when my then three-year-old cried his eyes out for half the morning because a toy didn’t work. I think that year’s very vocal disappointment still lingers in my brain. Now my kids are adult and mature enough to say, “Hey mom, thanks so much, but this isn’t exactly what I wanted. Would you mind if I returned it?” Umm… heck yeah! Here’s the receipt!

#6 Teens Give Better Gifts, Too

 I know, I know, gifts aren’t the real meaning of the season. But while I treasure the drawings and painted rocks from yesteryear, it touches my heart when my kids give me a book they knew I wanted to read or a scarf they saw me admire. Suddenly, they’re taking notice of what others want or need and they’re putting more thought into buying gifts… it’s pretty awesome.


#7 They Sleep in on Christmas Morning

I don’t know about you, but my kids were up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning. Seriously, it was still dark outside! Thank goodness things have changed! Now we all sleep in, leisurely get out of bed (although sometimes I actually have to wake my teens to get up), and relish (not rush) through the morning. Christmas with big kids has a decadent, tranquil feel. 

#8 They’re More Helpful in the Kitchen

You can ask them to chop the veggies, peel potatoes or make the gravy. They’re capable of whipping up a batch of chocolate chip cookies and sometimes even extravagant dishes and desserts. What’s really fun is when they come to you and ask if they can make a recipe they found on Pinterest or TikTok… that’s when you begin to enjoy the cool side of raising teens. 

#9 Better Yet, Teens Can Clean the Kitchen Themselves

When my kids were little and they “helped” me cook or bake, it was always exhausting. Not only did I have to supervise their every move, I was also in charge of clean-up. Now that they’re teenagers, they can clean the kitchen all by themselves when they’re done cooking and baking. They don’t need supervision or nagging. (Well, maybe a little bit of nagging.)

#10 They Can Wrap Gifts Themselves

My teenage daughter is masterful when it comes to wrapping presents. She’s now teaching me a thing or two about what you can do with simple wrapping paper, tissue, and ribbon. She’s also a big help with all my wrapping and jumps in if I’m busy or just plain tired of doing it all myself. Plus, I don’t have to worry about her running with scissors anymore! 


#11 The Elf Gets to Stay on Shelf

As a mom of teens, I’m liberated from keeping all the secrets, which translates into a more relaxed holiday season. We had a good run with the Elf on the Shelf, but nowadays I can sit back (a little bit!) and relish in the true magic of the season, which is simply being together. 

#12 You Don’t Have to Watch Frosty the Snowman 13 Times in a Row

Finally… their taste in holiday shows and movies is more palatable. Sure, I enjoyed watching classics like Frosty the Snowman when they were little. But not thirteen times in a row. My teenagers are just as excited as I am to watch grown-up movies like The Holiday or Die Hard that they never would have sat through as tots

#13 Teens Stay Up Late

Teenagers are basically night owls, so whether it’s watching our favorite movies together or going to the midnight Christmas Eve service at church, gone are the years when I had to hustle them to bed by a certain hour. 

#14 They Make Family Gatherings So Much More Fun

When my kids were little and we got together with family, I hardly got to enjoy myself. I had to keep a watchful eye on every move they made and always had an underlying fear that they’d have a massive meltdown at any moment. Now that they’re older, they actually engage with aunts, uncles and grandparents. It makes the holidays so much more fun and special. 

#15 They’re Not as Picky About Food

Gone are the days of picky eating when my preschooler refused to eat anything but rolls and a few spoonfuls of mashed potatoes. With teenagers, their palates have matured and suddenly, they love food! For the most part, my teens will eat just about anything. (Okay, there might be a few things they still loathe!)

#16 They Love Reminiscing as Much as I Do

When my teens were little, I didn’t have too many memories (yet) to reminisce about. But now that they’re teens I find myself recalling past Christmases (with a tear in my eye) so much more often. The best part is, my kids love to reminisce, too. We’ll pull out old pictures or videos and make a night of it. 

#17 They Actually Like to Shop

Remember when your kids were young and you had to chase them around the mall, keep them happy by buying them a cookie and time it just right so it wasn’t during their nap time? Well… those days are gone for good! You now have a shopping buddy! A lot of teens love to shop – especially during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. 

#18 I Love Spending Stress-Free Time with Them

This is a far cry from the days when they were younger when the Christmas season was nothing but an utter blur! I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that by December 26th, I couldn’t wait for school to start again. Now, I not only love spending quality, totally stress-free time with my kids, I wish time would slow down so I could linger in these special days just a little longer.

#19 They Grasp the Meaning of Christmas in a Deeper Way

I love that we have profound talks about faith this time of year. It touches my heart, too, when I see them donate jackets to the homeless or put their own money in the red kettles outside the grocery store. Now that’s magic!


#20 Because it’s Still the Most Wonderful Time of Year

It doesn’t matter if my kids are five or fifteen years old, just being near my kids is an amazing gift. But especially at Christmas, it somehow means even more to me that my teens call me mom. 

About Katy M. Clark:

Katy is a writer and mom of two who embraces her imperfections on her blog Experienced Bad Mom. Follow her on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

If you enjoyed, “20 Reasons Why Christmas with Teens Rocks,” here are a few other posts you might like!

22 Christmas Traditions for Teens Who Need a Little Nudge to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

Dear Moms of Teens, The True Magic of Christmas Wasn’t When our Kids Were Young. It’s Now.

Keeping The Holidays Magical When Your Kids Become Teenagers


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