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What Happens When Kids Outgrow Family Christmas Traditions

Since my kids were just babies, we’ve observed a family Christmas tradition. Every year, I would have a photo shoot of them wearing their favorite Christmas outfits. It’s always around Thanksgiving, when the first Christmas trees appear in stores, that both of my kids get excited about Christmas hats, winter boots, and clothing for our doggie, who’s also an important part of the celebration.

This year my daughter was as excited as ever. As she’s growing up, I now let her decide what to wear. A fancy red skirt and a cute white shirt made the deal. My son didn’t look very excited; however, he chose a green elf costume.

But when it was time to set up our traditional photo shoot, he refused to get dressed. When I asked him why, he said, “Because I’m not a little baby anymore.” I felt kind of sad. This was one of the most special moments for us as a family, and now he thinks he’s too old to pose for mama’s camera. Seeing him growing up fills my heart with a weird mix of pride and melancholy. And how would I choose photos for our Christmas card collage if Emir wasn’t in the most important photo of them all? What would people think?

This Christmas, new traditions have started that he is an important part of. He carried the boxes with our tree and ornaments into the living room. He asked me to hang up some lights using the ladder, and for the first time he was allowed to plug in the lights. At the time the lights started blinking, his smile lit up the place as well. He’s growing up.

In the meantime, I have two models left for our Christmas photo — my daughter and my doggie. Both of them still get excited and love to pose for the camera.

Even though Emir didn’t want to be part of our photo shoot, we all spent a great time together as a family, choosing our favorite pictures for the annual Christmas card. That’s still a Christmas tradition for us.

So now, every time people ask me why Emir is not in the “official” Christmas picture this year, I explain to them, with pride and sweetness, that my little boy is growing up. I don’t think I ever expected that to happen, but it seems to be my unavoidable Christmas surprise this year.

Check out this year’s Christmas photo shoot right here:


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