Day #12 – The Magic Of Christmas Is NOT Lost
This is one post that I have been thinking about since I began this series of posts. I think a lot of us can remember a time when we were young and Christmas was a magical time in our lives. There was the wonder and excitement of all the gifts. The music and lights mixed with singing and bells ringing and the thought of Santa coming on Christmas Eve to give you something special.
I know for a lot of us this magical time is lost. It went away with all the commercialism and increase in our work lives. It disappeared with the knowledge that Santa was not real. It evaporated like a mist as we got older and went into the “real world”. We no longer have the 9 to 5 jobs that give us time off during the holidays. Most of us have to work during the holiday break and so it is just another week. Global warming has changed the seasons and so snow is getting less and less common for many places. No more white Christmases, sleigh rides or sledding.
If you look hard enough you will see the magic of Christmas is still here. It is all around us if we want to find it. While the world has changed and become a materialistic giant, Christmas can still be a magical time if you know where it is hiding. I do not have a lot of positive memories from my childhood especially around the holidays. In fact, I have shared almost all of them in these posts over the last few weeks, but I can still remember a time when I believed in Christmas. When I could feel the magic of the season and it held me in wonder. When I believed I would get something more than what I knew my parents would ever try to give me.
So where has the magic of Christmas gone? Where can you find it today? Today is the day before Christmas and it is your last hope to find the wonder and magic you may have thought was lost forever. However, the magic has never left and is exactly where you left it when you were a child. Look at it this way. What makes Christmas magical? It really wasn’t the presents or the food but it was the anticipation and the people who surrounded you. It was the thought that possibly someone would reinforce the idea that you are a good person and be rewarded for it. The magic is in feeling that you want to make others feel good during this time of year and you in turn will feel good as well.
Here is a good example: I mentioned in one of these posts that I was going to try and make this Christmas special for my kids. Not with presents or random stuff, but with family and our experiences over the holidays. It has been rough. My teenagers are ornery and moody, my youngest feels picked on and unincluded in their lives and it saddens my wife to see that her family isn’t this loving bundle of holiday spirit she believed her family was growing up. I know that the teenage temperaments fluctuates like the waves of the ocean and she just needs to ride this out a little, but her memories are filled with happy times with her family baking, watching movies, playing games, and a host of other things that brought her family together. So I have made a pretty good effort to bring us together this year. We have had game night that begun with the teenagers complaining and saying they don’t want to do it and why are we such mean parents, to them laughing and having a fun time while we just play UNO. Last night we decided to decorate cookies. It began with just my wife and I making them and once we go them rolled out I asked the kids to come and help us cut them out. Reluctantly, and pretending like they had so many better things to do as only a teenagers can do, they all came over and after a bit their moods had lightened up. We all cut out different shapes and got the cookies in the oven. Then when the cookies were pulled out of the oven and cooled a bit, I asked them to come help decorate them with us. Oh, the looks I got for even suggesting such a thing. Eventually, my wife and I got them to sit down and we began frosting them. It quickly turned into a fun time. Instead of normal Christmas cookies we ended up with Zombies, with limbs ripped off, demons instead of angels, snowmen who had been shot, and a number of nonChristmasy cookies. Oh, they were all Christmas cookie shapes, but that is not how they looked when we were done. In the end, all of us were engaged and had a fun time creating creepy cookies that will be hard to give away.
I know the Christmas magic is right where we left it. Unfortunately, we bury it deeper and deeper every year and that makes it harder and harder to access each year. However, it is inside each of us. The wonder and the magic of the holidays is still there, you just have to work to bring it out. I mentioned in the music post that one of my favorite songs was from “How the Grinch stole Christmas?” and I loved the version which Cindy Lou Who sings during the movie. One of the reasons I love it is because of the lyrics to the song:
Where are you Christmas
Why can’t I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can’t I hear music play
My world is changing
Does that mean Christmas changes too
Where are you Christmas
Do you remember
The one you used to know
I’m not the same one
See what the time’s done
Is that why you have let me go
Christmas is here
Christmas is here
If you care, oh
If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time
I feel you Christmas
I know I’ve found you
You never fade away
The joy of Christmas
Stays here inside us
Fills each and every heart with love
Where are you Christmas
Fills your heart with love
It explains that we lose Christmas all the time but really it is inside of us if we dare look for it. I see Christmas magic every time I look into my youngest child’s face. He is at the age where he is openly questioning whether Santa is real. He cannot get over the flying reindeer. When my older two were his age and they were doubting whether or not Santa was real, I went all out to convince them, for one more year, that he was real. I wanted them to keep that innocence and that magic just one more year. I believed that when they lost it, it would be gone forever. I thought it was for them at the time, but now I realize it was for me and my wife. We wanted to feel that magic again. We wanted to relive the wonder and awe we felt when we woke up Christmas morning and were amazed and so convinced that he was real. We wanted to feel this through them and have the wonder knowing that we, as parents, could never have accomplished what it was that they got that night. That Christmas we gave them way more than presents, it was a magical Christmas. I think the real present was what my wife and I got out of it, and that was to see the magic through our kids eyes one more time.
Well, this year will probably be our last year having my youngest believe, so I am preparing a way to convince him that the magic is still there. I am trying to let my wife and I see the innocence of the Christmas magic, that can only be seen through a child’s eyes, one last time. I am going to fill our house with it and create a memory that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
This has been a fun exercise and I am glad I decided to do it. I knew I would need some help getting into the holiday mind set and doing this really helped me remember what it really is that I want to get out of Christmas. I hope all of you can get what you want this holiday season. I know for me I have already got most of what I want and I am sure Santa will bring the rest tomorrow morning when my kids wake up. Happy Holidays everyone!