Christmas Magic

I wish I could bottle up this feeling and make it last all year long.

Magic, that’s what it is. Absolute, utter magic. There’s just something to be said about the tree, the lights, the hazy feel of a Christmas morning, that gives me feels all the way from my head down to my toes.

The kids were up relatively late. 7:30 and later. Which was odd, but I guess makes a kind of sense. Because things are shifting here. Doubts are creeping in, doubts about the magic that threads it all together. I guess that’s just how it is when both kids are into double digits. It guess it was bound to happen.

But the magic endures. As I looked under the tree and saw all the gifts from Santa, I was reminded of it. I was reminded of snuggling up, cozy like, by a different tree, putting on the Santa hats, and tearing into our presents. I was reminded of the warm egg nog in my mug, of the photographs everyone had to take to memorialize each Christmas.

And for a moment, this morning, it was there again, the magic that I know still sits just below the surface, the magic of Christmas morning. Continue reading “Christmas Magic”

Christmas Memories: 2006

It’s odd how Christmas changes after you have children of your own.

When you’re young it’s about your family and its traditions, those traditions predicated by your parents and continued in the face of waning enthusiasm by you and your siblings — you know, when the magic wears off. Then you’re a teenager and a young adult and you’re trying to figure your own life out, much less the life of a fictitious character from the North Pole who may or may not be living on the tip of an iceberg. During that time you wear the costumes ironically and give things like cameras to your friends just because.

Then you grow up all the way, and you get married, or at least have a significant other. Valentine’s Day takes on more significance, but Christmas begins making a comeback too. You buy and make sentimental gifts for each other and that makes it all less ironic somehow. By the time kids come along you’ve gotten into a pattern that for all intents and purposes works for you. You buy each other $100 worth of presents each year and wonder why your credit cards always seem to be maxed out come January, but you’re happy.

Then the first kid comes and you realize you’ve been doing it wrong for years. Christmas is, after all, a holiday for children first and foremost, and you come full circle when you have some of your own. That’s when you begin to create your own family traditions that will at some point become the ones your kids will eventually mock ironically as young adults. Or maybe they’ll appreciate them so much that they pass them on to their own children.

It’s what we hope, of course, that having those children of your own will bring back the magic for you, that magic that has taken years to disappear and that only seems to emerge somewhere near Disney World. But it’s not a mouse that brings back the real magic. It’s instead a burly man from up north who may or may not be a distant cousin to Jesus Christ. Time to leave out those cookies and that milk. Continue reading “Christmas Memories: 2006”