How old was I when I learned the crushing news that Santa “lived in our hearts” rather than at the North Pole? I can’t recall. I know I clung to the myth long after that despite all evidence to the contrary, still getting my picture taken with the jolly old dude well into my teens, just for a laugh I told myself. But the truth was, as the adult world pressed in on me from all sides, I longed to hold onto that child who still believed in magic.
There is a lot of talk about the “Magic of the Season,” mostly in store advertisements seeking to part us from our hard-earned cash, or even better “charge it” to a later date, a time made much less magical once that debt comes due. Still, it’s easy to get caught up in the buying frenzy. We want to recapture that excitement of Christmas mornings past, ripping through wrapping paper to find “what Santa brought us,” and watching others do the same.
After all, “Christmas comes but once a year,” we tell ourselves. And it’s true. Sure, we’re encouraged to keep Christmas in our hearts throughout the year, but all too soon the challenges of everyday living chip away at all that good cheer and the magic drifts away.
Still, we all know there is more to this magic-of-the-season business than buying stuff. If we’re among the fortunate to have our basic needs for shelter, food, and loved ones met, if we have our health, it is a time to take stock of how truly blessed we are.
Life is a minefield that can blow our sorry asses up at any time in a myriad of ways. I never fail to marvel at the end of each day that I’m still here, so the end of another year? Oh, yeah. Big whoop-ass party.
You can bet I’ll be decking those halls, indulging in eggnog and even spending more than I planned. With all the strife in the world, we need to let our inner child out again – the one whose open heart still hears the jingle bells of Santa and his sleigh on Christmas Eve. The one who still believes.
Ho, ho, ho…