Holidays Then and Now: 6 ways The Holidays Change When You’re An Adult

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It’s slowly starting to hit me that I’m not a kid anymore. Sometimes, just sometimes, when I am with my nieces and nephews I find myself feeling like the weird and out-of-place adult that I used to make fun of when I was younger. Just recently as I was with my family, we were all sitting around watching movies and my niece actually said she had to go hang out with people her own age so that she would have someone to relate to. Ouch.

I suppose I expected it to happen one day. For some, maybe it is when you are 18 or when you finally move out and are on your own, or maybe it will happen when you are sitting around the Christmas tree with your own kids. But rest assured, it will happen. When it does, you’ll sit back realizing holidays then and now just aren’t the same.

A lot has happened in the last year: my family is spread out now, and while we are able to be together for the holidays I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it, or even sure how things will go. My older brother and I live near one another but will we spend Christmas at his place or mine? Who will cook dinner? Will there even be a dinner? More importantly WHERE WILL MY MOM STAY!? Will she choose to stay with him so that she can see her grandkids more, or will she stay with me in my empty one bedroom apartment?

There is so much to think about this holiday season, and these are only a few of my worries. I know that adulting is a fact of growing up but just how badly will being an adult change the way we celebrate the holidays? For starters…

1. It’s not all about you.

You are an adult now, so even though you may be the youngest in the family, guess what… you’re not really. Your parents could now have grandkids, and sometimes that means letting them be the center of attention.

holidays then and now



2. Sometimes it is all about that vacuum.

Growing up it was all about Strawberry Shortcake and Carebears, occasionally a My little Pony, but now it’s all about that sweet vacuum I’ve been eyeing. And no one’s going to get it for me, except me. Why? Because you are an adult now, if you really want something then you should get it yourself. Santa isn’t going to bring it for you. Did I mention how it was a sweet vacuum? Gifts become more practical as an adult.

Being An Adult Changes Christmas



Remember when you would go to bed early on Christmas Eve because you just couldn’t wait to get up at the crack of dawn to see what Santa brought you? That’s not happening anymore because Santa isn’t real and the gifts have been under the tree for at least a week or so now. Plus, I like to sleep in and have lost all sense of joy when waking up at 5am to open gifts, at the very least not until I’ve had at least one cup of coffee. Can we hit snooze until at least 10am please? Thanks! Or you can open your gifts and I’ll eventually get around to it.

Being An Adult Changes Christmas



4. Fa la la la la la la la!

Ah, the holiday tunes. I’ve gone through stages with this one, I used to enjoy them when I was little, but then having to play them every year from grades 4 through 12 kind of killed the joy in that too. I’m also not thrilled at the idea that stores start playing Christmas music as early as Halloween (yea, I know, how dare they). And does anyone even go caroling anymore or is that just something they show in the Holiday Hallmark movies?

Being An Adult Changes

5. Dinner is served!

Growing up, dinner was a huge part of our Christmas celebration. On Christmas Eve, people started to show up around 5pm and they’d be greeted with all kinds of delicious snacks. There would be drinks and music and it was utterly boring as a kid, at least for me. I didn’t understand why we had to sit around, all dressed up, and wait to eat dinner at MIDNIGHT. Why would we do that when we could just eat after everyone showed up? Now, I kind of miss it, because the last couple of years haven’t been the same.

Being An Adult Changes



6. Deck yo’ halls.

I used to love decorating the house, as a kid anyway, but once I reached high school it became kind of a time-suck so I generally refused to do it. I was “too cool” for all of that. But of course, I moved and am now starting fresh, so in between finding the right towels to match my decor I find myself wandering through the Christmas aisles wondering how (or even IF) I should decorate. Because, I’m an adult now and my mom is coming to visit and that has always been a huge deal for her so I have to please momma, right? Doing it all for momma… shhh.

holidays then and now


So what will this Christmas this year be like? I have no idea, but I know it won’t be the same as good Ol’ Christmases  past. Being an adult changes a lot, and while I am happy that there is some Christmas spirit in me, holidays then and now are…different.

How are your holiday celebrations different as an adult?

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