“There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.” ~Erma Bombeck
There are 10 more days until Christmas… it’s never the same as when you’re a kid though, and never can be. It wasn’t the presents that made it magical, it was the feeling of magic that surrounded everything. The tree was magical, tall, lit up and ornate… beautiful. Then of course, there was Santa Claus. The very idea of him would send shivers down my spine and a joy would rise from my very toes and tingle it’s way to my eyes. Granted, I never much enjoyed sitting on his lap, but when I saw him, I could feel the magic, the wonder and the joy of the season… so why is it that when we realize he isn’t “real” that all that changes?
Actually, maybe things didn’t change with the mere information of his existence as much as when I was all grown up… something happens to us as we age… partly, we become jaded… products of divorce… but mostly, we simply forget. Sure, we recall the memories and how wonderful we felt – the sugar plum dreams and the twinkle in our eyes, the snow glistening on Christmas Eve, awaiting the paw prints of Santa’s reindeer… but we forget what it all means…
My father was amazing at Christmas time. He loved creating memories for my brother and I that we still reminisce about fondly. He would put boots on, go outside and track footprints of snow into the house. While he was outside, he would throw a stone or two on the roof to sound like reindeer landing and “Ho Ho Ho” like a champ. All this whilst ringing some sleigh bells… the man was into details, and he was gifted. Then, my parents would run off to their room and pretend to sleep as we slowly mustered the courage to go downstairs, worried we would catch Santa and get in trouble. But, we never did catch him and we certainly didn’t get into trouble… all we would find was magic.
In the old house we grew up in, the stair case was open through the steps. My brother and I would lay on our bellies and look between the steps to see the tree downstairs… and to see if Santa came already. We would be groggy and tired-eyed, so it took a while for us to focus… especially with all the twinkling of tree lights in our eyes… or was that the magic?… maybe both. And our stockings hung off the staircase and they would be the deciding factor to proceed – “Do you see something in our stockings?”.. “Yeah, I think I do!”… “Let’s go!”… and the magic continued.
What happens to us as we grow older is the realization of commercialism… the marketing of Christmas spirit is the biggest downer. Spirit rises from the heart and the soul and purchasing XYZ is certainly not going to put the spirit in me. But, if we take a moment, forget all that malarkey and look into a kid’s eyes when they talk about seeing Santa, we can remember, if but for a moment, that Christmas time is still magical and full of joy.
“I heard the bells on Christmas Day; their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the word repeat of peace on earth, good-will to men!” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow