Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Joys of Christmas

As my children have grown older, some of the traditional "magic" of Christmas has gone by the wayside. No more cookies left for Santa, fewer gifts that are surprises, more gifts that are chosen by them, and fewer craft projects. It has always made me a bit sad. Somehow I have always associated that special Christmas wonder with children: the twinkle in their eye as they wonder if the mall Santa is actually the real jolly old elf, their belief that reindeer really do fly, and the special joy that even the smallest toy can bring.

This year I was a bit more melancholy than normal. My son had hand-picked his big ticket item, a tablet for his use at college and he had even gone with me to hand select the traditional "clothes" items. He had lost quite a bit of weight this semester and we had to make sure that they fit him. My daughter had hand-picked her big ticket item too, a laptop computer and had been sitting right beside me when I ordered it on the computer. I really didn't expect Christmas morning to be as "special" as it used to be- but I was wrong.

When my son opened that box and actually got the tablet in his hand........

Well, you can see his smile. He was no less happy, even though he knew what was in the box.

As for my daughter, I did manage to spring a surprise or two on her. She loves sock monkeys and had seen some sock monkey pajamas at Target a few months back. I managed to find them for her and gave them to her Christmas Eve as her traditional "Christmas jammies". The big surprise came on Christmas morning though. I had been secretly working away for two days, crocheting a sock monkey for her. I finished it up at about 4 AM on Christmas morning. The smile on her face made the sleepless hours worth it!

In the end, I think I realized that the magic of Christmas could live in anyone's heart, regardless of age- even in the heart of this woman who is nearing the age of 50. Those little things that we do for each other, even when they are planned, that bright smile on the face of a loved one, a special moment shared together with family: that is the real magic of the holiday season. Just as Christ came to share God's love, it is our love for each other that makes that warm spot in our hearts.

As I watched my daughter dance around the living room to her "One Direction" cd, Keurig hot cocoa in hand, and bright smiling face I could never doubt that this was a truly wonderful Christmas!

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