10/28/2013 08:03 am ET Updated Dec 28, 2013

15 Things I Miss During The Holidays In My Empty Nest

Most of the year, the empty nest is good.

Though I miss my kids when I don't see them or hear from them often enough (are you listening, son?), my husband and I have adapted quite nicely to a home that's just the two of us and our dog. But somewhere around mid-October, I start to feel the emptiness a little bit more, as the holiday season begins.

Here are 15 things I miss.

  • There are no bags of Halloween candy to rummage through in search of Reese's® Peanut Butter Cups.
  • It's not much fun to carve a pumpkin without kids.
  • Because there's no pumpkin carving, there are no roasted, salted pumpkin seeds.
  • Decorations look pretty but there's no one wide-eyed and excited by it all.
  • There are no little faces to sit with and watch the holiday specials, especially anything Peanuts related.
  • There's no excuse for me to bake as often as I would like (love) to.
  • There are no kids to help with the Thanksgiving meal prep, which seems to take nearly the entire month of November.
  • There are no teens to send out for forgotten ingredients for the Thanksgiving meal prep. This is a major inconvenience.
  • Gifts for grown kids tend to be of the large, expensive variety, which keeps shopping to a minimum. For most, this would be a benefit, but for me it's not as much fun.
  • Saying the blessing over the Hanukkah candles is kind of blah without children's voices.
  • Likewise, lighting the candles without giving gifts to excited little children afterwards lacks a little something.
  • As a dual-religion household, I loved filling my kids and their cousins' stockings for Christmas morning. Not as much fun anymore.
  • No handmade gifts from little kids with handprints or scribbles.
  • The homes decorated with lights, reindeer, Santas and more, while still delightful, are a little less magical when you can't share them with a child.
  • Giving to those less fortunate during the holidays was an opportunity to remind my kids how nice their lives were. And still are.

This post previously appeared on Empty House Full Mind

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