Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Magic

Amid the stuff that needs be wrapped, the chores that need be done, I stopped, looked around, and wondered, When had Christmas become such a job? Where has the magic gone?

Christmas, when magic is commonplace and dreams come true, has ceased to be. And I can blame no one but myself.

Writing takes me to other worlds, other dimensions, and within them all there lives a diety. That diety plays an important role in the character and morality of each world's inhabitants. Some dieties are bringers of joy and hope. Some bring death and destruction. All impact the lives of those who believe.

Childhood saw the diefication of Santa Claus--with a vague understanding of Jesus. Youth saw Santa fade and Christ grow in importance. The joy of Christmas changed from presents to presence, to the realization that the gifts we give and receive are just a token of the gift given us by a loving God.

There is no price tag on Hope or Faith or Love, and these are the true gifts, personified by the Baby Jesus, of the holiday season and yet, they've been in such short supply.

Everyone has their dark moments, hours, weeks, even years. With the economy in flux, various media stealing the innocence that once crowned childhood, and a variety of other woes, it is easy to abandon the three most precious gifts of Christmas, to wallow in the darkness and lose the magic.

Leaving the job.

The stress, the worry, the myriad tasks that pile around you become overwhelming when it's just a job. Gift buying is not a joy. Gift making? Yeah, I know; who has the time?

And that's when the epiphany came: The Little Drummer Boy. Yep. We hear it over and over, but do we pay attention? Giving doesn't have to cost, or stress, or exhaust. Giving should be joyous. A selfless sharing. THERE resides the magic.

I want the magic back. I CHOOSE to have the magic back. That means choosing to give with a glad heart, a heart thankful that it CAN give--be it time, a hug, and encouraging word, coins thrown into Santa's kettle outside the market.

Nobody says Christmas has to bankrupt you. In fact, that's the antithesis of what Christmas means. That dollar you put in a red kettle may mean little to you, but to someone it means Hope. That smile you give to the mommy with the fractious toddler costs nothing, but to her, it shows empathy, caring, understanding. The door you hold for someone struggling to juggle packages or strollers or whatever may take only a moment, but could make the difference for someone who has seen little good in mankind.

Giving of yourself doesn't cost much, but the dividends are high. And the magic? You'll find it.

I did.