My Teen Needs the Magic of Christmas Now More Than Ever

Because even teenagers aren't too old to search the skies on Christmas Eve...

by Nancy Reynolds

 This post: My Teen Needs the Magic of Christmas Now More Than Ever

Written by: Ali Flynn

When my daughter was little, the Christmas season was filled with so much wonder. The sparkling lights, the pile of brightly colored presents with fancy bows under the tree and, perhaps most of all, the sheer anticipation of Santa’s visit on Christmas Eve. As a mom, I couldn’t help but view the beauty of Christmas through her eyes.

I truly miss those days…

But here’s something I’ve come to know now that my girl is a teenager.

Yes, Christmastime has certainly changed in our home. And, no, my daughter isn’t waiting up with bated breath for Santa to sweep down the chimney. Her eyes don’t light up quite as much as they once did when my husband and I put up the tree. And, her days of “believing” are long gone.

But the Christmas season brings out a side of my daughter that I don’t see the rest of the year. I can see it in her eyes and hear it in her voice, she’s still clinging to the magic and I think she needs that more than ever.

The truth is, my daughter’s everyday life is an unrelenting schedule filled with homework, studying, after-school sports, and a part-time job, not to mention the stressors of being a teen – the insecurities, friend drama, and mood swings that confuse her just as much as they confuse me.

By the time the Christmas season rolls around, my daughter is in desperate need of a break. She’s ready for a departure from the constant demands of “teenagering,” school, and life she faces every day. And, as her mom, I want nothing more than to peel back the layers of stress she stoically carries and let her revisit the childlike magic of her youth one Christmas moment, memory, and tradition at a time.

So this season, with its lights and presents and anticipation and traditions is exactly what my girl’s heart needs to nourish her soul.

The magic of Christmas offers my daughter a time to reconnect with a part of herself that she may have let go of or even completely lost. It’s a time of reflection and reconnection with her childhood and with her family, while also being a time filled with simple innocence and pure joy. 

If you’re thinking that perhaps your teen has outgrown the “magic” of Christmas and the holiday season, guess what? Your big kid still longs for that magic, no matter how old they are.

Here are 6 reasons why my teen (and, frankly all teens) need the magic of Christmas more than ever.

#1 They May Be Getting Older, But They’re Still Little On the Inside

Isn’t it amazing to look at our kids standing before us looking like full-grown adults knowing they still carry around inside them the child they once were? Of course, my daughter knows by now that mom is “Santa” but it tickles me each year when I still receive a “Dear Santa” letter with her wish list. She may be older, but she still wants to keep those childlike memories alive.

So, go ahead! Break out the cookie platter from the cabinet, grab the cookies and milk, and put out cookies for Santa. P.S. Don’t forget the carrots for Rudolph and the rest of Santa’s reindeer.

#2 Traditions  (Even the Silly Ones) Give Them a Sense of Home

Are you still moving the elf around every single night so you can see the twinkle in your teen’s eye? Are you cranking up the Christmas music or snuggling up on the couch with your teen watching all their favorite classic holiday movies on TV while sipping hot cocoa with lots of tiny marshmallows?

Whatever your traditions are, keep doing them. Even if your teen rolls their eyes. Even if they give you a heavy sigh and a “Geez mom… really?” Don’t stop. They may never admit it, but all those traditions are keeping the magic of Christmas alive and giving your teen a sense of home. 

#3 The Magic Offers Them a Break From Their Relentless Schedule

By the time December rolls around our teens are in the midst of finals, many are wrapping up their applications to colleges and their extracurricular activities are still in full swing.

The Christmas break not only gives them a chance to reconnect with family and friends but it also means they can slow down, actually sleep in, do absolutely nothing and soak in much-needed “me time” – something they desperately need.

#4 It Means More Time to Connect as a Family

Too often, as a mom, I feel disconnected from my daughter and feel in competition with every other “pull” she has in her life. From her friends and school to her cell phone and her part-time job, I feel as though I’m always trying to squeeze in quality time with her here and there in between, well… everything else.

What’s so wonderful about this time of year is that I find myself having my girl all to myself – even if it is for a little while. Whether we’re taking a family drive to see holiday lights, whipping up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, or watching silly TikTok videos, I think my daughter enjoys it just as much as I do 

#5 They Need to Remember What Pure Joy and Innocense Feels Like

In a world of constant busyness and always striving for more, the Christmas magic that fills the air this time of year is exactly what our teens need to reconnect with the ordinary and the simple moments in life. It’s a time when they can be beautifully reminded that the best things in life truly are free and that real magic is found within our hearts.

#6 It Paves the Way for New Traditions with Friends

One of the things I love is seeing my daughter create her own traditions with her friends. She put together a Secret Santa gift exchange and invited her friends over for a pot-luck dinner – she even made a couple of fancy desserts. Through the example that I’ve set for her throughout her youth, she’s now keeping the magic alive for herself while embracing her friends and filling their tender hearts with the magic they may also need.

“So fill your heart with love and joy

and through the eyes of girls and boys

Share their wonder, live through their joy

It’s easy to do, just open your heart

the spirit will come to you”

~ Celine Dion (The Magic of Christmas Day)

Ali Flynn is excited to share with you the joys and hardships of motherhood with an open heart, laughter, and some tears. Ali is a monthly guest contributor for Westchester County Moms and has been seen on Filter Free Parents, Grown and Flown, Today Parents, The Mighty, Her View From Home, and His View From Home, where she shares inspirational stories about motherhood while keeping it real. You can also find her on Facebook or Instagram.


If you enjoyed reading, “My Teen Needs the Magic of Christmas Now More Than Ever,” you might also like reading these posts!

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

My Kids Might Be Teenagers But We Still Put Milk and Cookies Out for Santa

December Countdown: 31 Christmas Activities for Teens (That Aren’t Totally Lame)

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