I am sorely missing the magic that is Christmas. This year, I struggled with all its grandeur, hoping to have the purest, most genuine Christmas possible. But it was, as expected, in vain, foiled by all the gifts I had to wrap. Perhaps, as you get older, Christmas becomes heavier, laden with more gifts and burdensome trimmings. I see my children marvel at the tiniest twinkle of lights and continuously gape at angels with trumpets, even if the angels don the streets and hark at them on every corner. They seem to know by instinct, the magic that was about to happen, as we watched the stars adorn the skies last night. And this morning, as I read them the Christmas story, they looked at me wide-eyed, embracing with full faith the Jesus Child, who had just come down from heaven, to give the world his Light. My daughter tugged at me this morning, asking if we could, now that it was Christmas, finally see the Sun or the planets, or even the Bear and the Warrior that were in the heavens last night. And I, unfortunately, was half in the moment, and half out of it, preoccupied still, with the feast I had to display, and fretting over the gifts I left under the tree. I left their presents at home to celebrate up here where it’s chilly and everything smells of pine. My children are yet to ask me for their presents and I have been waiting for them to ask me if Santa had checked them off his list this year. Still, they are as jolly as Santa, even as sweet as two darling angels. Today being Christmas is enough for them- as it should be. It is easy to omit a silent night, a little Child, a little hay and the ox and ass. His story has been wrapped frivolously in silver and gold, even chestnuts and ham. Still, amidst our blinding holiday displays, Christmas has crept subtlety through the night. And as I sit here, enjoying the last bits of Christmas carols, I catch sight of the magic anew. Today is Christmas. And suddenly, there is a lot of love and cheer in the air. People are beaming, there’s twinkle in their eye, and I see everyone sharing as easily today than at any other time. I have a silly desire to greet every stranger on the street. Every one is calling someone else, greeting: a Merry Christmas. We are, without knowing it, remembering the pure love and light that descended this day, and sensing the light lit anew inside of us. And whether we wrap this overwhelming grace by our insane gift giving, by decking our halls with jubilant red and living green, or by cooking up a feast so we can once again be family and friends, we embrace Christmas. I just spent a half-day calling every family member, wishing them a Merry Christmas. Now I understand why it is merry. There is no day like Christmas. And I should stop missing it’s magic, I simply have to look, and see that it is still there.
In Search of Holy Places