They are, and always have been, my favorite part of the holiday season.

Well, except for that ONE.

That one my dad started when we were kids that drove my sister and I absolutely NUTS.

It would be Christmas morning. Whoever woke up first would wake up the other sister before going to jump on our parents’ bed to get them up too. My dad would take his grand old time waking up while my sister and I hurried him along. And when he FINALLY got his glasses on and we thought it was time to go downstairs…


It was time for “the pause.”

The time when me, my sister and my mom had to sit at the top of the stairs in anticipation as my dad went downstairs to make sure Santa wasn’t there anymore.

And I. Couldn’t. Stand It.

“Dad, he’s not here anymore just let us come down!” we’d yell every single year.

“Hold on,” he’d yell up in what I now know was complete amusement on his part. “I’m still looking.”

After a couple more “hurry ups” and “come on dads,” we’d finally get the ok and the stampede down the stairs began. And there’s no kind of excitement like that magical feeling of seeing that Santa really did come.

As a parent, I make my own kids do “the pause” too.

My kids do the same kind of “can’t contain themselves” jumping around and yelling down to us to see if they can come down yet.

And I love every second of it… the way I know my dad loved it too.

“The pause” allows you to sit in the moment.
“The pause” allows you to feel the anticipation and not the instant gratification.
“The pause” allows you to not miss the moment.

Maybe the pause needs to be part of all of our holiday season this year.

Pausing and sitting in the happiness that comes with doing nothing with your family.

Pausing in the stressful moments, and finding gratitude in them instead.

And maybe this year as I’m passing on “the pause” tradition to my kids and ensuring that Santa has left the building, I’ll choose to take my own pause, too…

And make sure the joy, love and reason for the season is still very much present in my spirit.

Written by Brea Schmidt

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