Christmas holds a sacred magic. It is the celebration of our Savior and a celebration of the best within ourselves and our families. It is a dream come to life, a holy moment to treasure full of promise and heart.
Nostalgia is part of it…that feeling a child holds when dreaming. It is hope and wonder, excitement and light. It is seeing the sparkle of tree and star, that light blinking in the sky that could be a reindeer’s nose. It is hugs and hot chocolate, whispers and giggles, the reverent silence of mass followed by boisterous caroling. I am no child. The magic I remember so vividly lives on inside a secret part of myself, given reign this day.
I remember way back, my dad carefully placing tinsel, my mom collecting greenery. Fancy clothes and fancier hors-d’oeuvres, noisy parties and quiet times, logs crackling in our hearth. Songs, old and new drifting through the air while cinnamon, clove and pine teased my senses. Catching the first flakes of winter on my tongue, the sled propped in the corner by the tree reflecting the colored lights, merrily blinking welcome.
Opening my eyes and holding my breath while creeping out to the living area…had he come? The pipe on the table, a crinkled napkin and mysterious bootprints on the rug . Waking my parents, sharing my joy with my brother and sister, endless laughs in footed pajamas.
There was no thought of responsibilities or work, sad times or hardship. We simply reveled in the moment, the joy of Christmas morning. We loved each other. It was freedom of spirit, purity of family celebration. It was all.
I loved every minute of creating holiday moments for my children. I love choosing gifts, decking the halls, adding elements of surprise… Seeing their joy deepens my own. Time is merciless. It keeps on moving. Life has so many moments fraught with tension. During this season, I refuse to allow it. The boys are grown men now. Still, the magic stays.
I bake and decorate, shop and plan and get excited for our sacred morning. The world waits outside our picture window, and we turn away from it. We turn to our manger, praying to our Lord in gratitude. We leave the cell phones behind. We take our time and tease one another, sharing presents thoughtfully chosen. We have no thoughts but for each other. Time stops. We simply love.
It is magic. The child, the woman, the maiden, mother and crone…all aspects of myself are humbled by my family’s love. Christmas is as special to me as it was when I was four, deeper now as my understanding of the world and my love for my family has grown. I still revel in the lights, the colors, the hugs and the laughter. I know that each member of my family is my gift and that this shared time is beyond price. It illuminates my soul.
It is a celebration of all that is holy. It is Christmas. It is sacred.