From Hallmark Channel Hater to Holiday Mom

Hallmark Channel holiday mom - Boston Moms

When I was younger, I loved Christmas. I was that kid who would get so excited for Santa’s arrival my parents probably should have used a tranquilizer on me. Seriously, when I was about 6 years old, I could not fall asleep on Christmas Eve to save my life. I tossed and turned in bed and yelled out, “Did Santa come yet?” about every half hour until, finally, my parents had had enough. We opened our gifts at 4 in the morning. We were the only house on the street with our lights on that early. They never let me forget that holiday.

Flash forward to my adult childless life — I was so over the holidays. I wasn’t quite at the Ebenezer Scrooge level. More like an antagonist in a Hallmark Channel holiday movie. I just couldn’t get into the holiday hype. There were a handful of Christmas songs I could tolerate (“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Last Christmas,” “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” and the Jackson 5 Christmas album). I got very overwhelmed by all the holiday events and the need to do more, more, more. Suddenly, holiday parties weren’t enough. Now it had to be an ugly sweater party, or a cookie swap, or a dress-as-your-favorite-character-from-a-Rankin-Bass-holiday-special party. And then of course there was the decorating, and the presents, and the planning for the actual day itself.

But now that I have a son, I see this time of year through a completely different lens. And it’s really exciting for me.

Sure, I still mainly listen to the few songs I like. No, I still don’t own an ugly sweater. Yes, I am still overwhelmed by all the hoopla and hype. But I find myself getting excited for the holiday again. I think about the traditions from my childhood that he can partake in. I wonder what new traditions our family will create. I see how curious he is about the lights and decorations. The enjoyment he feels shaking jingle bells while I (badly) sing the song makes me so happy.

My son is only 15 months old, so he still doesn’t quite understand what’s going on. But I can tell that each year he’ll be more and more excited about Christmas, and that, in turn, makes me feel excited. I feel as sappy as the protagonist from a Hallmark Channel movie now — and I’m totally OK with that.


Lesley grew up in New Bedford, MA, moved to Boston for college and has stayed here ever since. She holds a Masters degree in Criminal Justice and an MFA in Creative Writing. Lesley is a playwright, several of her ten minute plays have been produced throughout New England and two are published in the anthology, More 10-Minute Plays for Teens. Lesley lives in Dorchester with her family. She is mom to a happy and babbling 5 month old son. Likes: Netflix binges, wine, story time with her baby, makeup, and Ryan Gosling. Dislikes: mushrooms, traffic, and getting called ma'am.