A friend recently posted on Twitter that she wished she could go back to a time when she believed in the magic of Christmas. At this time of year, I think we all wish the same thing.
I’ve watched my children grow up and lose that innocent trust. They no longer believe the world is full of magic. As my 13 year old put it, “It’s like we lose a little Christmas every year.”
It happens to everyone. The magic of Christmas slowly fades until all that’s left is red and green plastic and overplayed, canned music. The belief dies, and the holiday season becomes a burden.
Belief. It’s a tenuous and easily shattered thing, and yet we need it so badly that we die without it.
I wonder, though, if we lose our ability to believe or simply don’t know where to look for real magic. We learn early on to focus on the glitter and bright, shiny things that we can’t find what counts.
I know what the real world is like. I know the bad guys win, innocent people get hurt, and everyone dies. (Oh, and that prince on the white horse? You don’t even want to go there!)
But still, I want to believe.
So this year, I’m trying to focus on the real magic that surrounds me–the small things I overlook because they happen so regularly I forget how special they are.
-Like a friend facing a devastating diagnosis. I was so worried about the outcome of the tests that I didn’t notice the crowd of people that surrounded him with love and support. Maybe, just maybe, there was magic in the love.
-Like the enthusiastic but horridly off-key carols sung by our Boy Scout troop as they rang bells for the Salvation Army. We couldn’t wait to be done and get in out of the cold, but maybe, just maybe, there was magic in the willingness to keep singing even when it sounded terrible. The people around us thought so as they smiled at us, sang with us and happily dropped coins in the kettle.
-Like my son who suffers from several mental issues who tried to pray over dinner. He couldn’t, but his brother picked up where he faltered, and together they finished the prayer. Maybe, just maybe, there was magic in my sons’ failure. I know there was magic in his brother’s love.
I don’t need the sights, smells and sounds of the season to bring the magic back. I just need to stop looking to the fake stuff and focus on the wonders around me to believe.
You are wonderfully made and within you is a seed of greatness. You and I will let each other down, forget things, fail, and get angry, but I still believe in you. I believe that you’re amazing.
Most of all, I believe the reason for Christmas still exists. I believe that unto us a Child was born and to us a Redeemer given. I believe He still loves us even when we don’t deserve it.
And that’s the real magic of Christmas.