Warning: Following content contains text that may be considered extremely syrupy, those affected by high sugary content should move on to other topics. Also contains spoilers for young beings that have certain notions about present giving involving an individual in a red flannel suit accompanied by reindeer.
As Christmas and the holidays approached this year, as usual, I found myself wondering where the magic had gone. I remember growing up and being so anxious for THE DAY, Christmas, seeing what Santa had brought me, wondering if angels were going to sing above our house and waiting for the Christmas Miracle that was sure to happen.
And of course I got older and found out that Santa was really my parents, if angels are hovering over us, they’ve got really good camo and Christmas Miracles are well, miracles that don’t happen a lot, at least for me.
This year though, I was thinking about a family that we were friends with and how every Christmas Eve, when the children were young, their Dad performed some sleight of hand to make things ‘magical’. The family would go out to the car to go to the Christmas Eve pageant our church presented and every year their Dad would have to go back in and go to the bathroom, or get something he forgot or for some reason he would have to go back into their house. While he was in the house, he would get a baby doll and place it in the empty manager in the nativity scene so that when the family returned, baby Jesus would have magically appeared as part of the Christmas Miracle for that family.
Part of my memories involve being on this bit of artifice and thinking how dumb the younger kids must’ve been to really think that every year their Dad ALWAYS had to go back in the house to do something and not connect that event with baby Jesus appearing in the manager. Of course, as kids do, they got older and realized what was happening. And I’m sure their Dad was relieved he didn’t have to go back into the house every year.
However, this year, I was thinking, this little act was a way of bringing magic to their children. My parents did a similar thing with Santa Claus bringing our presents and other activities for holidays, such as Easter. As an adult, I see the rational actions that brought about the desired results, but how magical it was as a child to believe that Santa Claus somehow fit down our chimney, that the Easter bunny brought chocolate eggs, on Halloween, ghosts and goblins roamed about and so many other beliefs that seem a bit silly now.
And yet, I now see, the true magic was in the act itself, the selflessness of supporting that belief for a short time and creating miracles for the children. So I realized that there is still magic in Christmas, I just need to look at things a little differently and I can still have some of that awe and wonder that I remember so well from my childhood.