If you’ve been out and around much at all the
last few weeks, you’ve noticed it. It puts a smile on your face, a lilt in your
voice, and a bounce to your step. It usually appears around Thanksgiving and
unfortunately, lingers only a few weeks.
It is as warm as the smiling sun overhead, as
solid as the ground at our feet, and as satisfying as a warm fire on a frigid
I call it the Christmas Magic.
Okay, so that’s corny, as in lame, but you can’t
deny that in the last few weeks, most folks seem to be just a tad bit more
jolly, a tiny bit more patient, and a teeny bit more cheerful.
That magic is intangible, beyond one’s touch,
but, mysteriously, still as palpable as Aunt May’s homemade rum and bourbon
Caught up in the joyful ambiance of Christmas,
I, as many, wish that intangible wisp of enchantment could last year around.
The pragmatic side of our psyches insist it’s
only natural that after the first of the year to wake up with the disturbing
feeling that something is missing. And no, I’m not talking about the hole in
our bank accounts.
We’ve just spent days and weeks in anticipation
of Christmas Day and then New Years. And because we were so anticipating the
gaiety and cheerfulness of the holidays, once they are behind us, there comes a
natural let down.
But there is no reason for that Christmas magic
that fills the Season of Giving to fade away just because the calendar changes.
As I crept up the ladder of age, I came to
realize why my father and mother always replied ?I don’t need a thing, when
asked what they wanted for Christmas.
At my age, I don’t need anything thing. I get a
kick out of seeing the delight sparkle in the eyes of those to whom I’ve given
what I could afford.
If you’ll look around, you’ll see that despite
the problems we face, usually our blessings outweigh them. Might not seem like
it at the moment, but Santa Claus is with us year around, or can be if we make
Don’t think so?
Recently, I read a delightful article in Newsweek Online
of a mother’s concern that her seven-year-old would learn there was no Santa
Over the years, being the loving parent she
obviously is, she had enhanced the magic of Christmas for her son by
encouraging him to help with the decorations, add to the crèche, bake cookies,
and yes, even spread reindeer food in the snow to light the way for Santa.
Can’t you just imagine the excitement coursing
through that little guy’s veins? At the end of the article, she expressed
relief that he had managed this Christmas still believing in old Saint Nick,
but she had the feeling that sometime before next year, he would learn the
She ended the article with the observation that
despite what he might learn, as long as he believes, he will enjoy that special
magic year around.
Perhaps that is where so many of us go wrong.
Somewhere along the way we stop believing in Santa Claus just because those
beliefs fly in the face of logic. I have a couple good friends who have reached
the four score and ten mark who believe in Santa Claus, and I kid you not,
nowhere will you find a couple jollier or more cheerful gentlemen. They brim
with the anticipation of life and the excitement of each passing day.
F.P. Church said it much better than I in his
response to Virginia O’Hanlon when she queried the New York Sun on the
existence of Santa Claus. ?Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as
certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they
abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.?
There was not a soul in the world who could say
that Santa did not exist if they witnessed the sparkle in the eyes and the
broad grin on the faces of my two youngest grandsons, Keegan and Mikey, as they
hop on their scooters or fire up their space rockets on Christmas morning.
That same excitement is no different in homes
around the world. It’s just that during the Christmas holidays the love for one’s
fellow man is even more pronounced.
But if you look, if you pay attention, you’ll
see proof of Santa’s existence throughout the year. Perhaps it isn’t as
noticeable among the stories of mayhem and murder, but it exists.
You’ll never convince that single mother there’s
no Santa Claus after her son was given a new wheelchair by the Shiner’s to
replace his dilapidated one. And what about the little girl who won a raffle at
school and put aside her own wish for a beautiful little doll so she could
instead select a hand-sewn blanket she knew her invalid mother admired?
No Santa Claus?
In Minneapolis, a parent was hit with unexpected
car repair bills just before the holidays, wiping out the family’s Christmas
budget. When she went to pick up the vehicle, a stranger had paid the bill. You
think that family doubts the existence of Santa Claus?
And who is it that drops a $1700. gold
Kruggerrand in the Salvation Army’s pot every year? Who is it paying off Walmart
and K Mart layaways around the country?
No one can tell me that the spirit of Christmas
is not alive throughout the year. It’s just that in the midst of our hustle and
bustle, it sometimes takes a back seat, but it is always there, waiting to be
As long as the human heart is filled with
understanding and compassion, there will always be a Santa Claus, three hundred
and sixty-five days a year.