I believe. That’s what Loudboy said as we were watching The Polar Express last night. He’s my last one (8 years) who still believes, and that is waning fast. He’s been asking. He’s like the kid in the movie, he wants to believe (what he and the Kid both said at the start of the movie), so he does (by the end). But it is fleeting. The Magic of Christmas.
I just finished putting the gifts under the tree, eating most of the cookies, and filling the stockings. I left the note in my special Santa handwriting that takes twice as long. The love flowing through me as I finish these final gestures of the night. Of childhood.
My kids are growing up way too fast. The snuggling and innocent thoughts on life are literally moving to adult things that we, as parents, aren’t ready to handle yet (a story for another day perhaps). My own childhood wasn’t one of poverty by any means. We always had a roof over our head in our 1,000 square foot 3 BR/1 Ba house, but it was used clothes and hand-me-downs in a cluttered house owned by parents who literally started with nothing (I lived in a trailer when I was born). But my parents, especially my mom, always made Christmas magical.
We decorated the house from top to bottom every year. We painted a mural on the main living room picture window. I still remember all the random loved un-known land-of-misfit-toys-esque Christmas songs off this album we listened to as we decorated cookies every year. And under the tree was some magical item we so desired. He-man Castle of Grayskull. The original NES. I remember playing Star Wars for hours with these things:
It was a magical time in my life, without worry except for being a kid and doing kid things. Hours doing Legos. Wishing for that snow day to build forts with Dad since he had off work too. Getting that Red Rider BB gun (which we did, one year) to prove that we wouldn’t really shoot our eye out. It was a great time in life, and one that vaporizes as quickly as the smoke from the Christmas incense.
So I want my kids to hold on to the Magic as long as they can. Being an adult isn’t all that much fun. It is a lot of work, which is rewarding in its own right, but it isn’t that innocent fun where you believe in a mythical man who loves all and gives presents. My wife doesn’t like the Christmas holiday for many reasons, but we want to leave happy memories to build upon for both our kids and rewrite that story compared to Holly. And we are, as they both seem to take after me, singing Christmas songs and generally enjoying the extra spirit in the air.
Even though my older daughter Birdsnest, now 10, doesn’t believe in Santa as a real being as of this year, she still holds on to the spirit of the holiday. She watched Home Alone for the first time with me tonight. We laughed at the burglars getting their nuts shot at with pellet guns and an iron smashing into their face as we cuddled up to one another. That was magical in its own right.
I know these moments are special and I cherish each one. I fully expect tomorrow to be the last fully magical one for us, where the innocence of yesteryear is still alive in my offspring. They’ll still be nice and sweet and “kids” for a few more years, but like the empty outgrown shoes in the closet, Santa Clause too marks the passage of time. Too soon will they be grown up talking about grown up things. Stay young. Please. Hold on to that magic as long as you can and don’t overlook it for a second, because it is gone in a blink of an eye.
Merry Christmas to all reading, it has been an amazing year once again, and hope yours has been as well. My heart and love goes out to all on this magical day, and hope you keep the Christmas Magic alive in your own way.