Tomorrow you and I will wake up and join millions of other people from around the world to celebrate Christmas. The day will make some of us happy and others very unhappy, but why?
There is a story to Christmas – a story beyond the Christ Child, or Santa Claus. The story is linked to those stories, but it is more singular, and more important. It is our Christmas story.
Christmas is meant to be magical. We are all to get the exact gift we want, even if we don’t tell anyone about it. Our family will magically become nicer people who adore us, even when that has never been the case. There will be no arguments and everyone will have a wonderful day – for the first time. This is the year! You can just feel it!
People want magic at Christmas. Even one or two wonderful Christmases in our lives can make us believers in Christmas magic forever. Such is our generosity at this time of year that we want to make Christmas magical for everyone we can, and especially our family. How can we do that? Let me tell you a story.
When my children were all around seven, they began to hear stories that Santa Claus wasn’t real and so they determined to do what every self-respecting myth-buster does. They’d stay up all night and see for themselves.
It’s not hard for a parent to figure this out – even though nobody says anything to that parent. When you’re searching for the mythical Santa, you’re likely to forget the mythical parent, the one who sees, hears and knows everything.
I knew the game was afoot and I intended to keep the myth alive. I wanted the magic of Santa in my children’s lives, even if it was just for one more year. I enlisted the best help I could get – my mother and my brother, because there are no bigger believers in Christmas magic.
We determined that Santa would NOT arrive overnight as expected. He would arrive when we were out at the 4:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Children’s Service. While we were out, my mother and brother came to my house and ensured Santa’s surprise visit. My children and I arrived home less than two hours later. The stockings were filled, the gifts were under the tree and Santa had helped himself to a glass of milk and cookies from the stash my oldest son kept under his bed. There was even a note on the mantle from Santa, reminding everyone that he had to start early this year because he had a busy night ahead.
And that was it!
Christmas magic has been secure in my family ever since. It wasn’t that one Christmas that did it. It was that one story – of the people you love ensuring that life can be magical.
That is the secret. When you wonder about the magic of Christmas, go back to your own family’s stories and find the stories of the Christmases that had the most love in them. Perhaps it was the Christmas when you got a special letter or small gift that was special. Perhaps it was being the star in the Christmas concert. Perhaps it was a day when everyone was happy together. Take that day and remember its story. Magic is not about big things, it is about the small things that touch us forever.
This is what I wish for all of you who celebrate Christmas tomorrow. I wish that you will find some magic for yourself or your family, especially for your children or grandchildren. I hope that you will treasure the story of that magic so that Christmas can be magical forever.
I cannot wait to hear your story.