Think back to when you were a child and the magic that Christmas held. The excitement and anticipation of a visit from Santa. The traditions that went with the season.
Remember getting toy wish books? Once they arrived my sister and I would pour over them for hours, looking, looking again, and writing out lists of what we wanted for Christmas. Inevitably the list was lengthy and mom would say we needed to shorten it down…the agony of it all!
Traditions of the holiday stand out in my mind. Making Christmas cookies and decorating them, followed by eating them for breakfast as we opened gifts. Decorating the house was always fun. In the early years we would trudge through the snow at a Christmas tree farm to find the perfect tree, which Dad would then saw down. Of course they always looked smaller in the woods then they did in the living room. One year Mom kept saying the trees were too small. The “perfect” one had to be sawed considerably shorter after Dad brought it in the house, not to mention the fact that it was so big around it stuck out about one-third of the way into the living room from the corner where it stood. It was huge!
Dad would put the tree into a stand and then we would have to let it sit for 24 hours to let the branches “drop” as the tree warmed up. After that the decorating could begin…lights, ornaments, garland, and icicles. The tree decorating was usually stretched out over several days, as we were in school and Mom also worked during the day. Evenings were spent viewing the tree, seeing a spot in need of an ornament and then finding the perfect one to fit that area.
When Hallmark began their dated ornaments Mom started a tradition of purchasing a dated ornament for my sister and I every year. Those were wonderful to have as we got married and moved out and many of those oldies hang on my tree every year. When I had kids I kept the tradition, purchasing each of them a dated ornament every year…something I continue to do even now when they are 28 and 32 years old. Of course I also purchase one every year for each of my grandchildren. My daughter has also tried to maintain the tradition with her children.
Christmas morning when growing up was always fun. The discovery of wrapped gifts under the tree. Going through our Christmas stockings to see what small hidden treasures were there. Then of course spending the rest of the day playing with new games, reading new books. Enjoying a day of family fun.
Over time childhood moved into teen years, and we no longer believe. Gifts become more useful. Then we become adults and Christmas is nice, but something is missing, at least for a while. All good things come to an end…or do they?
Eventually we get married, have children, and the fun starts again. This time we hold the magic and enjoy watching a child’s eyes sparkle with excitement when they talk about their Christmas wishes, Santa Clause and the fun of the holiday activities. We relive the magic through the eyes of our children.
Too soon our children grow, become teens, grow into adults and move out on their own and Christmas once again lacks the magic, at least for a little while. Then the grandchildren are born and the cycle begins again.
No matter how old you are, keep the magic. If you have no children or grandchildren, go where there are children. Watch the lines for Santa, volunteer at organizations that cater to children, work at a toy give-away, contact charity organizations and volunteer your services. Keep the magic alive.
Keep the Spirit * Keep the Magic
Look at Christmas through the eyes of a child