The tree was put up last night.
One Christmas Eve when I was in elementary school, I was determined to catch Santa. I went to bed, but every hour or so I would quietly creep up the stairs and peek through the banister to see if I could catch Santa filling our stockings. 10 pm…nothing. 11 pm…nothing. Midnight…nothing. 1 am…nothing. Somehow I fell asleep and woke up at about 4 am. I quickly (but quietly!) tiptoed up the stairs and peeked. The stockings were full!! I missed him yet again. I ran to my stocking and eagerly, gently pulled out each item…A pair of earrings. Chocolate. A toothbrush. And of course, a tangerine at the very bottom. It was there every year. They were just little things, but my heart pitter-pattered with the joy I felt.
When I was growing up, Christmas provided something magical. It wasn’t a distant, untouchable experience…it was an enchanted, tangible season when the sometimes-frightening realities going on around me disappeared. The anticipation of Santa coming…waking up while it was still dark to go open my stocking…Christmas music and the smell of my mom’s sticky buns wafting through the house…for a short, brief season, time stood still and all was good in the world.
I don’t need to escape reality anymore. But the magic of Christmas still bubbles up within my soul and fills me with something I just can’t truly communicate. It’s joy and beauty and goodwill and cheerfulness and gratitude and take-my-breath-away-moments of nostalgia and reflection all wrapped up in my heart that overflow abundantly.
So, today, I’m thankful for the magic of Christmas and the joy it brings me to make the season last a bit longer so my kids can experience some of that extended joy too. ❤️