The Mundane and the Magical

When I was growing up in a small Southern town, everyone I knew celebrated Christmas.  It never occurred to me that anyone didn’t. But of course there are many people who belong to other religions or choose no religion.  There are big parts of the world where Christmas is just another day.  People go about their usual, mundane business and likely don’t even think about the places where people are focused on the baby in the manger two millennia ago or the big man in a red suit who supposedly comes down the chimney.

For us, though, Christmas has always been a special day.  When I was growing up, I always waited in anticipation for our relatives to arrive.  Gatherings of my mom’s entire extended family were rare, and being with all my cousins was part of what made the holiday special.   For the dh, his mother’s decorating and baking made the holiday unique.

When I grew old enough (and employed enough) to buy most things I wanted for myself, the gift-giving part of the holiday became less exciting.  There’s pleasure in finding something someone else will like and in receiving a thoughtful gift, of course. But a bit of the magic ebbed when I realized there was no actual Santa Claus person coming down our chimney.  It ebbed more when I realized not only that I could buy pretty much what I wanted, at least in the price range likely to end up under the tree–it’s not like I came from a family where we bought Lexuses and parked them in the driveway with big red bows on them–and so could the people for whom I was buying gifts.  So gift-buying and gift-giving at Christmas became much like buying gifts at other times, a pleasure but more mundane and less magical.

The boy’s arrival brought the magic back for the dh and me.  The wonder in his eyes as he looked at the decorations infused our hearts, too.  I’ll never forget the Christmas morning when he was not quite two and came into the living room to find Tigger peeking out of his stocking.  The delight and amazement on his face engraved themselves on my heart.  The dh and I determined to keep the magic alive for as long as we could.  We knew it would end, of course.  It had to.  But we wanted it to last.

When the boy was in fifth grade, he clung to the myth of Santa even though his friends had given it up.  We figured that was the last year, so we wanted to make it extra special.  We bought Castle Grayskull (home of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe) on behalf of Santa.  It was to be the main gift from the jolly old elf.

On Christmas Eve morning, the boy and I were sitting on the bed, talking to the dh as he got dressed.  The dh opened his closet and there in the front, where even I, who did not have anything like the boy’s laser-sight vision, could not miss it, stood the box  conspicuously  labeled “Castle Grayskull,” and showing the Castle with He-Man.  The boy was sitting in front of me, so I couldn’t see his face.  Had he spotted the box?  If he had, his tentative belief in Santa would officially be toast as of the next morning.

We decided not to risk it.  Leaving the dh to wrap Castle Grayskull and stick it under the tree, I got in the car and drove to one of my least favorite Christmas Eve locations, Toys R Us, where I roamed the aisles desperate to find something, anything, that would supplant Castle Grayskull.  The boy liked Star Wars, and I spotted the Geonosis Battle Arena from the third prequel.  That would do.  I bought that and a handful of Star Wars action figures and then lucked into an 11″ action figure (a doll in girl parlance) of the boy’s favorite Jedi, Mace Windu, complete with purple light saber.  Crossing my fingers that the boy was not now “over” Star Wars, I took my booty home and sneaked it into the house.  And hid it very well.  Neither my nerves nor our budget would stand another foray into the shopping madness.

The dh and I were up until after 1 a.m. assembling the arena and setting up the figures.  As we had done assembling various toys in years past.  And let me just say whoever thought putting tiny decals on children’s toys should be left to clumsy-fingered parents instead being done at the factory was not only nuts but a sadist.  Just sayin’. Anyway, we hoped the arena and the figures with it would be as popular as we knew the castle would be.

On Christmas morning, the boy hurried into the living room.  His face lit up, and he dropped to his knees in front of the arena.  “I knew it,” he cried, grabbing Anakin Skywalker.  “I knew it!”

“Knew what?” we asked, exchanging a look of dread.  The boy couldn’t have spotted that beforehand. He just couldn’t.

“I knew there was a Santa Claus,” he said triumphantly.  “The people on the bus said there wasn’t, but I didn’t believe them.  I didn’t tell ANYbody I wanted this, and here it is!”

A chill ran down my spine.  The dh and I exchanged another look, this time of shock.  The boy getting that arena was a fluke born of a mistake.  Or so we thought.  But for a second we wondered whether the magic was stronger than we’d known.

When people talk about magical Christmases, I always remember that one.  The boy was still at the age where he was more into toys than electronics.  He would open a gift, play with a while, then open another.  The gift-giving part of the day lasted for hours.  Somehow, having him trot upstairs to try out a video game just isn’t the same.  It’s more mundane.  After all, he plays video games every day.

Now the magic is more in being together, having him home from far away, and in decorating the house.  It’s not quite the sparkle it once was, but the gleam is quieter and deeper.  I hope it reaches into your home as well, whether or not Christmas is a day you celebrate.

I’ve never blogged on Christmas Day before. I’m usually on the 26th of the month–Boxing Day in some parts of the world.  Kate usually has the 25th, which puts her on Christmas every year.   This year, though, Anna Sugden had a post she wanted to do for Boxing Day, so she and Kate and I switched around.  That means I get to pick the winner of the 12 Days of Christmas grand prize basket.  Ah, the power!  *g*

In the Middle Ages, the 12 Days of Christmas started on Christmas Day and ended on Epiphany, celebrating the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem.  But we bandits like to start early.

This is your last chance to enter the drawing, so tell me:  If you celebrate Christmas, what’s the most magical part of it or the most magical one you’ve ever had?  If you don’t celebrate Christmas, what do you do on a day most things are closed?

I hope those of you who celebrate Christmas are having a truly merry one and those of you who don’t are enjoying a day of peace and rest.  Since this is my last regular post of 2011 (I have a couple of booty announcements to put up), I thank you all for being with us this year and wish you a healthy, happy 2012!

 

Comments

101 Comments

  • flchen1 says:

    Merry Christmas, Nancy!! We do celebrate Christmas, and the magic comes in how people share so lovingly and generously to celebrate this special day. So many of us have forgotten that we’re celebrating the birth of Christ, but the love He showed us shines through in the generosity that so many people share this day.

    Wishing you much magic and love today and year round!

  • Deb says:

    Oh, my goodness, Nancy! I loved your post! Thank you for sharing about the magical fluke of a mistake.

    My daughter found out last year about the Santa Secret a few days after Christmas. She received some awesome gifts, but because her letter was a little late in being sent to the North Pole, she didn’t get most of what was on her list. I broke down like a baby and we talked about it, but that a person, no matter how old, should always believe in the magic of Santa and Christmas.

    Christmas is still magical. Even though we exchanged gifts today from each other, Shary will still wake up tomorrow to find her stocking full of little surprises and chocolate and 5 or 6 gifts under the tree. Believe. Santa is magical and fun and merry.

    Merry Christmas, Nancy, and to all the people who pop into the Lair.

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Deb, glad you liked it! Merry Christmas to you, too.

      That’s a sweet story about your daughter. We try so hard to make things perfect for our kids, and they’re often kess concerned with that than we are. I know Shary will love the surprises in her stocking.

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Deb, glad you liked it! Merry Christmas to you, too.

      That’s a sweet story about your daughter. We try so hard to make things perfect for our kids, and they’re often less concerned with that than we are. I know Shary will love the surprises in her stocking.

  • Virgina says:

    Loved your post. Yes the magic of Christmas is when your children are small. When my son was young we went throught the same thing you did with your son. I remember staying up until 3 am putting things together and really enjoying it. Because of the look on their faces the next morning when Santa had come is priceless. My son is twenty two now so most of the magic is gone. This evening I spent with my family and had a great dinner and opened gifts. There is still some magic there just spending the time with the family but its just not the same as the small children waiting for santa. Although I did have a four year old great niece there that was really excited that Santa was coming tonight. We just have to make our own magic not.

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Thanks, Virginia. It sounds as though you had a lovely day.

      We never stayed up until 3, but we have only one child to assemble for. I so agree with you that the looks on their faces make the time and effort well worth it. I hope your little niece has a magical morning.

  • infinitieh says:

    It’s hard NOT to be caught up in Christmas when one grows up in New York City – the lights, the windows of department stores, people being nicer to each other for a change – it doesn’t even matter that most of my friends were Jewish. I still loved Christmas in the city.

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Infinitieh, I’ve been in New York near Christmas twice, and it was wonderful. I loved walking along 5th Ave. and looking at all the decorated windows. They were so beautiful and so creative.

      The second time was two days before Thanksgiving, so the tree at Rockefeller Center was not yet unveiled. Neither was the creche at the Metropolitan Museum, but the store windows were fabulous. And the window at Steuben Glass was dazzling.

      I don’t skate, but standing by the Rockefeller Center rink and watching them was fun.

  • Happy Christmas, everyone! Nancy, I loved your story about Star Wars. It does sound like one of those Christmas miracle stories. When I was a kid, I always loved that Scarlet Ribbons song where the singer overhears his/her child praying for scarlet ribbons for Christmas but all the shops are shut and so they can’t find the ribbons. And then on Christmas morning, there they are, piles of scarlet ribbons. Major awwwww moment.

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Anna, thank you. That song sounds sweet.

      One of my favorite Christmas stories is O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi. I don’t want to spoil it for anybody and so am omitting details. We had a beautiful picture book of it for the boy. When he was packing up and giving away his kid stuff, I insisted we keep that book.

      • Deb says:

        Nancy, this last week in school, we read 5 or 6 Christmas stories and The Gift of the Magi was one of them. We also read a condensed version of The Christmas Carol, The Christmas Collie, and The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree. I also read (and gave each student a copy) The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to them.

        • Pissenlit says:

          Omigosh! The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! Ha! I’d totally forgotten about that story!

        • Our family used to read A Christmas Carol aloud in the lead-in to Christmas, finishing on Christmas Eve. We didn’t think about it this year. The boy wanted us to wait on the decorating until he came home, so this past week was kind of jammed.

          Is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever a play? I’ve never seen the book, but I think children’s theater here did a play with a title something like that.

      • Oh, that’s a beautiful story, isn’t it, Nancy? Another fave O. Henry one is I think called the Last Leaf about the ill girl who thinks she’ll die when the last leaf falls off the ivy on the wall opposite her sickroom. Another twist in the tale although sadder than the Magi story. Always makes me cry!

    • pjpuppymom says:

      Anna, “Scarlet Ribbons” is one of my very favorite Christmas songs. It still touches my heart, even after all these years.

      • PJ, one of my childhood records was a 45 rpm single of Scarlet Ribbons with Nina and Frederick. Used to love it! I wonder where it is now. Probably long thrown out!

  • Gail Nichols says:

    I just love spending quality time with my husband and kids. We don’t get alot of quality time together during the year because of my husbands job and the kids school schedule.So,Christmas is a good time for all of us to be together. Merry Christmas to everyone:)

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Gail, now that the boy is in school so far away, we look forward to having him home for a month. That’s a new kind of magic for us.

      Merry Christmas to you, too.

  • Helen says:

    Merry Christmas Nancy and boy did I love that post.

    For our family Christmas is a time to spend together with our loved ones to excahnge presents eat lots of food and laugh a lot.

    Having children just makes it even better and my 6 grandchildren had the time of their lives here at my place this morning laughing and playing with new gifts. The we drove 1 1/2 hours to my sisters place for more presents and more food and the sun came out and the kids even went in the pool for a swim.

    Christmas is magical because I can spend time with my family that I love

    Merry Christmas to Everyone I do hope you all have had a great day.

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Thanks, Helen. I know you must be having a wonderful time with all those little ones around. I bet they enjoy having each other around, too.

      Merry Christmas to you, too.

  • Nancy – what a wonderful post! Yes, there is a magic in Christmas – even in the serendipity. Love that story.

    My kids are all adults now and the magic is that we all get together on this one day and share stories. Tonight my son was remembering how he used to set “Santa traps” to catch Santa in the act. They all dealt with string and tingling bells that (in theory) would alert him to Santa’s presence and he’d race down and catch him. Never managed to do it, though. Probably because I was up so late wrapping presents! (That and we’d carefully removed all things with bells on it so they wouldn’t wake the kids).

    Right now the magic of the day is wrapped up in family. Hopefully in the future I’ll have grandchildren to relive the magic, but right now the good food and the shared laughter fits the bill.

    Merry Christmas to everyone!

    • OMGosh, Donna, I LOL about the Santa Traps. That’s great! Wonder what he’d planned to do with him if he caught him? I remember trying to stay awake long enough to see the reindeer. I actually didnt’ care as much about seeing Santa as I did about seeing those magical flying reindeer. Grins.

      • Jeanne, not that I don’t appreciate your turning up in the wee hours, but I hope you got some rest I can’t imagine the shortish people at your house slept very late this morning.

        Merry Christmas, bandita!

    • Santa traps? I love it! Good thing you and the dh were too wily for your son. *g*

      I’m hoping for grandchildren someday, too, but not for a good while. My boy is a bit younger than yours. We saved a bunch of his toys and books to share with his currently hypothetical offspring someday.

  • Jane says:

    Merry Christmas, Nancy. I can’t think of any specific one that was most magical. I think every year we’re reminded of all the goodwill and great gestures that come out during this time of year.

    • Merry Christmas back at you, Jane. One of the best parts of the season, I think, is how people try to be just a little nicer to each other. Too bad we can’t bottle that for distribution throughout the year.

  • Nancy, what a fabulous post! So evocative! I love the joy of Christmas with children. My eldest is “in” on the Santa Secret, but the youngest is in the wavering stage as your boy was. :> Seeing them delight in the gifts and just so thoroughly engage in, and love, playing with them is magical. Cookies and milk is magical. Popcorn and Christmas carols on the radio as you wrap presents is pretty magical too. I just shut down the “present wrapping shop” and came to bed. The house is a-snooze, for a few hours more, at least!

    Happy Christmas, Yule, Hannukah, and Kwanza, and/or Solstice to everyone! Hugs!

    • Jeanne, I wrapped my last package yesterday around 3 p.m. It wasn’t wrapped for 24 hours. But I wouldn’t forego the wrapping. It’s essential to the surprise, and so pretty.

      We started the stereo this morning when we checked out our stockings. We started with Mannheim Steamroller, shifted to Kenny G (the dh’s fave), then to Baroque Christmas, and now are on The Roches.

      I hope joyful chaos is reigning at your place. Give your guys a hug from me.

  • Fedora, I forgot to say Congrats on catching the Christmas Rooster. He’s got the Menorah though and is trying to persuade people he’s Jewish so he can get 8 days of prezzies. Snork! Watch out too, if he asks to play Spin the Dreidle. He doesn’t play it like the kid’s game….

    I think he’s also been asking people to look in his stocking….be wary. grins.

    • Part of the dh’s heritage, and thus the boy’s, is Jewish. Thanks to the Rugrats’ Chanukah video, we went through a period of celebrating Hanukkah as well. Our Jewish friends who gave us so many lovely Christmas decorations gave the boy a dreidl, and we put up a menorah for several years (though I suspect its appeal was partly in getting to play with matches under watchful parental eyes).

  • Mary Preston says:

    The most magical part is always the Candle light service at church on Christmas Eve. Singing Carols by candle light, with the choir & church organ brings me to tears with its beauty.

    • Mary, I love Christmas Eve candlelight services and Christmas carols. Right now the Roches are singing “Angels We Have Heard on High” on the stereo. I love that song. Do you have a favorite?

  • Pat Cochran says:

    Merry Christmas, Nancy, to you and your fam-
    ily and all the Bandita family too!

    I’m just back from Midnight Mass, (which for
    our parish was at 10:30. LOL) and I enjoyed
    singing for another Christmas! Now I’m off
    to bed, 7:00 am comes awfully early! We
    will be spending the day with the family at
    DS2’s home in The Woodlands, which is north
    of Houston. There will be lots of good food
    and a birthday cake for Baby Jesus. The
    grandchildren love getting to sing “Happy
    Birthday” to Him!

    Pat Cochran

    • Pat, what a lovely Christmas Eve! I so wish I could sing. I was in junior choir, but enthusiasm matters about as much there as the ability to carry a tune.

      That’s so sweet about the grandchildren singing Happy Birthday to baby Jesus. I never thought of that!

      Your day sounds wonderful. Even if it did start at 7:00.

  • donnas says:

    We didnt make it this year 🙁 but we always go to church at midnight. And there is just something about the clock striking the hour and the music that is just magic.

    • Donnas, our church never did midnight services, but I always thought that would be a cool thing to do. My mom probably would’ve said that was too late, but my dad might’ve gone with me. He was night owl, too.

  • Just popping in to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a FANTASTIC 2012!

    Thanks for the wonderful post, Nancy. I know that spending time with your boy will make your holiday very special this year.

    All the best to all of you who have helped make the Lair such a special place.

    AC

  • Na S. says:

    I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I wholeheartedly echo the sentiment that the magic is in being together. It doesn’t matter where or what we do but that we do it together 🙂

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Nancy, what a beautiful, poignant post. It’s the love and the magic that live in our hearts that keeps Christmas alive. I hope I’m never too old to believe.

    Wishing all the Banditas and Buddies a very Merry Christmas!

  • eli yanti says:

    i do not celebrate christmas but i always loved christmas, really like the excitement of christmas, believe in magic and santa, love to listen and sing the christmas song and very welcome to eat cookies if anyone want to sent to me lol

    but i’m a bit dissapointed because every year my office is decided to give no holiday even one day in every christmas, so tomorrow i must go to work ;(

    Once again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year All Bandita, still can believe today is christmas already 😉

    • Eli, some of our prettiest Christmas decorations came from friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but love everything about it.

      Thanks for the holiday wishes. I hope your office management will relent and give everyone a couple of days to enjoy the season. Despite their grinchiness, I hope you’ve had fun and will have a terrific 2012.

  • Maureen says:

    Merry Christmas Nancy! The most magical part of Christmas for me is the family celebration. My children are in college but my nephews are little so it is fun to watch them open presents. Their excitement is just a pleasure to watch.

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Just popping on to wish my wonderful Bandita sisters and all our fabulous BB’s a very merry Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) and a happy, healthy 2012.

    Nancy, what a perfect post for Christmas day – I loved the story of your boy and his wish coming true! May everyone in the Lair have one dearly held wish come true!

  • Joan Kayse says:

    Merry Christmas Nancy! And all the Bandits and BB’s from Joanie T, Cricket and Grayson!

    My most magical Christmas came when I was about 7 years old. I woke up in the middle of the night Christmas Eve to hear a paper bag CRUMPLE in the living room! Santa!!!

    Never even occured to me to wonder why he had a PAPER bag, LOL

    • Joanie, I think Santa carries fragile gifts in crumpled paper to protect them. It takes so much magic to drive the sleigh that he doesn’t have any to spare for buffering delicate things.

      Merry Christmas!

  • Pissenlit says:

    HEE! That’s a fantastic gift story, Nancy! And your boy totally cleaned up in the kiddie toy department…Star Wars stuff(yay!) AND Castle Greyskull(I totally had The Crystal Castle, as a kid)! Heh heh! 😀

    I don’t know if there’s a most magical part…it’s sort of all-over magical even if you do different things every year. Last night, once the hardcore older generation finally vacated the table and went home, I rang in Christmas while playing mahjong(ya okay, so that’s a bit odd…LOL) with some of my cousins and first cousins once removed(whom I only see once or twice a year) while pretty much dying of laughter as some of us kept trying to remember Chinese numerals and the rules and as we were all generally talking smack to each other while not being able to back up any of our fake swagger in the game. One cousin has a triumphant iPhone picture of her long awaited win of a hand that consists of a blank stretch of table because her brother managed to mix her tiles back in with the rest quicker than she could snap her photo. He did the same to her second winning hand before she could even bring the screen up. Ha! 😀

    Merry Christmas, everyone! Gotta skedaddle to church!

    • Pissenlit, the boy did pretty much clean up. He loved knights and castles and anything of that ilk.

      What a great story about the mah-jongg (did you know it became a huge fad in the 1920s?). That sounds like great fun. I had to laugh about your cousin taking a picture. I play mah-jongg on the computer, but it’s a solo deal, not as much fun.

      • Pissenlit says:

        1920’s, huh? No, I didn’t know that!

        Oh, ya, I tried playing it on the computer once. It wasn’t nearly as fun…and I missed the clacking noise of the tiles knocking into each other. 😀

  • ruth says:

    What a heartwarming post. I don’t celebrate Christmas but our family is precious, spends the day together with a special day of a lovely meal, games and a walk. We cherish time spent as a family with is the most important ingredient.

  • Anne says:

    When I was young we used to spend the day with close friends who celebrated the holiday. We all looked forward to this beautiful day. We have our own families now and have an open house which we treasure. Have a wonderful Christmas. Many thanks for this place to visit.

    • Anne, we’re glad you like it here. Our visitors make the blog special for us.

      An open house sounds like a wonderful tradition. I’m sure it’s a lot of work, but how rewarding to have so many friends dropping in.

  • Pearl says:

    Wonderful story. Just what I loved reading this morning So emotional and beautiful. Being Italian & Jewish we cooked like crazy for the holiday, ate memorable feasts and had wonderful storytelling evenings and days which are still an ongoing tradition. Eating never stops, stories are outrageous and the holiday is extra special even more now.

  • Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    The most magical was when the kids were little, but the caring and giving is still magical. My granddaughter is 10 now and my daughter thinks she is beginning to doubt so this year was a biggy, Santa left a puppy and I would have loved to have been there to see that.
    Time to take my son to his dad’s so I will be back later.

    • Dianna, I bet that puppy wiped every doubt out of your granddaughter’s head. She must be so excited!

      The boy has never had a puppy. All our dogs have been adopted as adults (housebroken and past the chewing stage, though one regressed to that in his old age). While that works well for us, we regret never seeing them as pups.

      • Yes, we might get one more Santa year, my daughter was smart though. The puppy is 4 months old, house trained, leash trained, she picked up son-in-law’s work shoe and my daughter said drop it, dog dropped it and won’t touch them now.
        She is almost as big as my granddaughter, a real armful, black german weimaraner.

  • Cybercliper says:

    Merry Christmas everyone! Since hubs and I are old fuddy duddies that don’t really need much to make us happy, Christmas magic comes from what we can do for others.

    Each year it’s a wonderful thing to get our hands on our local Sherriff’s “Santa List” and help provide him and his deputies with all they need to make some child so happy. It’s the little things that make Christmas so wonderful…

    • Cybercliper, Merry Christmas to you, too! Your Sheriff’s program sounds wonderful.

      We do the angel tree at our local indie bookstore. Last week they told us someone had come in that morning and spent $500 on angel tree books. We can’t afford to do that, but isn’t it great that someone does?

      When the boy was small, we bought toys for local charities so he would understand not everyone was as lucky as he was. We shifted to books because we love them so much and wanted to add to that part of Christmas.

  • The guys and I had our stockings, and then the dh made Swedish pancakes–one each with the traditional lingonberry jam, like his mom used, and one each with raspberry. In his own variant on the tradition, he added a couple of slices of turkey bacon.

    We opened our gifts and are now kind of chilling out a bit. The dh went to Starbucks, which he reports was “hoppin’,” to get me a New York Times, the boy is checking out his new CDs, and I’m chatting with y’all.

    My guys gave me a beautiful new robe and the double CD of the Les Miz 10th anniversary concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Which I need to put into iTunes. The boy got a coffeemaker for his dorm room and the Nerf automatic rifle he requested for next semester’s round of Humans vs. Zombies, and the dh got jazz CDs and the children’s books he requested (he’s a children’s lit prof, not a case of arrested development *g*).

    And the dog got two edible bones, which she has already demolished.

    Sometime today, we’ll watch the dh’s favorite Christmas movie, A Christmas Story, on TBS and the boy’s favorite, Jingle All The Way, on DVD. We don’t own my favorites, It’s A Wonderful Life, and Miracle on 34th St., because I can’t find the original versions on DVD non-colorized, so I’ll sub in the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas. But I’ll be popping in here from time to time.

    One magical bit of the holiday for me is sitting by the tree, with its lights the only ones in the room, and thinking about Christmases past and people who were part of them. I did that last night and probably will tonight.

    I hope all of y’all are having as nice and relaxed a day as I am.

    • Helen says:

      How beautiful Nancy

      Have a great day

      It is Boxing Day over here in Oz now and I have to go to work today 🙁 and the next 3 days after that I would love to stay home and rest and read.
      And of course there are all my lovely new clothes I got to wear LOL

      Have Fun
      Helen

  • Aloha! Thanks for a great story to read this Christmas morning! I felt the magic when we lived in the Netherlands and attended Christmas mass in St. Peter’s Cave – the same cave where US Army personnel worshiped before marching towards the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge.

    Mele Kalikimaka!

  • EC Spurlock says:

    Oh, I remember well when our oldest son received the blow. He held on to Santa far past his friends; he was just the kind of kid that really needed to believe in magic. He came to me quietly one day when he was about twelve, and said sadly, “Santa isn’t real, is he?” I sat down with him and said, “He’s as real as you want him to be. If you still believe, that makes him real.” That brought out a smile. Then I went on to explain that, now that he was in on the secret, he was now officially an agent of Santa, and it was now HIS job to make the magic come true for his little brother. That idea really lit up his eyes – that not only was Santa real, now HE, in essence, WAS Santa! Now that’s the best part of Christmas for all of us — spending months ferreting out the things that will light up each other’s eyes and keeping those wonderful surprises secret until that special day.

    Here’s wishing you all a day full of wonder and a magical New Year!

  • Barbara Elness says:

    The most magical part of Christmas to me is spending it with small children. I don’t have any grandchildren, and my son is an adult, but I share my sister’s grandkids when I can and I love seeing their faces light up over the decorations, the idea that Santa is coming and the presents.
    Merry Christmas and a very Happy 2012 to you.

  • Barbara, we have no small children in our lives either, but I agree they add a special note to the holiday.

    Merry Christmas and Happy 2012 to you, too!

  • catslady says:

    Family and friends (and yes, cyberfriends too) mean everything. Christmas and the holidays gives us that chance to show it and appreciate it! They are all magical when you can share it with others! Thanks everyone and may your holidays be magical always.

  • LilMissMolly says:

    We moved to Ohio in 2003 from Los Angeles. It snowed that 1st Christmas we were here – my daughters who had never seen snow (1st and 3rd grade at the time) were amazed. It was very magical.

    • Snow at Christmas is special to us, and very rare. I don’t think the boy has ever had a white Christmas, and I haven’t had one since I was a child. Snow comes near Christmas, but not on Christmas or Christmas Eve, it seems.

      Your daughter’s faces must’ve been wonderful to see.

  • Leni says:

    Merry Christmas
    The most magical thing about Christmas is the excitement that takes on people and all of the smiles.

    • Leni, Merry Christmas to you, too. I also like the excitement in the air–at least before those last couple of days when it’s kind of manic. But I like the bustle of people trying to do something nice.

  • Mozette says:

    Christmas Day is always magical for me; even when I found out that Santa wasn’t real. It’s got to do with the presents…. they’re all wrapped up in that pretty paper and you usually get what you’ve wished for.
    This year, I wished for an Apple iTouch. And when I unwrapped it, I burst into happy tears and gave Mum and Dad a big hug each… and Dad said, “Well, she really did want it!” all day, I wanted to fiddle with the iTouch, but it wasn’t until later – when everyone had gone home – when I could sit down, plug it into my brother’s computer and work on it. And it’s so much fun to play with… however there’s one little glitch… how in the hell, do you get the music on it?

    That’s another magical, mystical thing I’m puzzled about right now. 😉

    • Mozette, I’m glad you got a gift you wanted so much. If there’s an Apple store nearby, they may have tutorials on getting started with the iTouch, or you may be able to get a Genius Bar appointment.

      I’m sure you’ll work it out.

  • Kim says:

    The magic of Christmas is all about family. It also means taking the time to reflect on what Christmas really means.

  • Eilis Flynn says:

    I think Christmas magic is strong in your household, Nancy. Also, you and the mister knew your child very well! Merry Xmas!

  • Kaelee says:

    Merry Christmas to those that celebrate it.

    I had a magical Christmas morning today. I spent the night at my brother’s house which just happens to be the house I was born in. My husband, brother and I went out looking for a dipper, a small bird that bobs along in fast flowing water. We tried one place with no luck and my brother went to move the car. Then my husband and I heard the bird’s song and one lively little fellow came and landed right in front of us. We managed to flag down my brother and then we spent quite a while watching the dipper. Later in the day we saw a Bald Eagle. This may seem mundane to a lot of you but to the three of us it was magical.

    I think we can all find magic in life in our own way. Thank you Nancy and all the people who commented for this heart warming post. It added a final touch of magic to the day.

    • Kaelee, I’m glad you found the birds you were seeking. I’ve seen bald eagles in the wild only once, in Maine, and they were amazing. Your day sounds wonderful.

      I’m glad reading this was a nice ending for your holiday.

  • I’m heading off to bed. I’ll post the Christmas winner this coming week. Robin Perini and Melinda Leigh’s winners got lost in the holiday shuffle, and I’ll post those, too.

    Thanks to everyone who stopped in today and kept me company, and thanks to everyone who has visited or lurked in the Lair this year. This wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without you!

    Happy 2012!

  • Laurie G says:

    The most magical was when I was first married I worked in a Children’s Hospital and they allowed a Santa to come on my floor and distribute presents to the sick children. I still remember that Christmas fondly. The smiles on those children’s lips and their parents too were priceless!

  • Cathy P says:

    Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas yesterday. We don’t have any small children or older ones in our lives, so it’s just DH and me. To me, the magic of Christmas is all about love and being thankful to be alive and happy. Of course, Jesus is the reason for the season.