When I was a child, the Christmas season was the most exciting time of the year for me.
It was the smell of fresh trees and sweet cookies. It was the sight of twinkling lights and decorated homes. It was the sound of bells ringing and people laughing.
For me, it really was the most wonderful time of the year. And it was all because of the little things that made the season so special.
It was the time of the year I could wear flannel one-piece pajamas and watch Christmas shows on the television.
It was the warmth of a hot cup of chocolate against my bare hands as I listened to old Christmas tunes on my grandparent’s record player.
It was the excitement of hanging up every single homemade ornament on the Christmas tree with my mother.
It was the glow of every light hitting my face from every tree, every yard and every home I encountered. It was the hope and anticipation that Santa Claus was going to visit my house.
It was the smile and happy greetings from anyone I ran into whether it be inside a store or on the sidewalk of Main Street.
As a child, it was sheer magic.
And then, it happened. I grew up, and the magic seemed to wear off a little.
Pretty soon, it became about buying the perfect present. It was all about budgeting for a Christmas that didn’t leave you poor in the new year.
It was worry that you wouldn’t have time to get a fresh tree to decorate. It was the hectic race to make sure every dinner dish and platter of sweets were ready for visitors.
But this year was different. Having three children, two of which are still small, was the perfect reminder about the magic of the season. I slowed down, took a deep breath and began to look at the season through the eyes of my children.
The children contain more belief and joy inside their tiny bodies than most adults have at all.
It was about their excitement as we decorated our Christmas tree; a tree that I thought would be too small seemed like a giant one in their eyes as they wrapped lights around and hung every ornament with care.
It was the smiles on their faces as they watched the marshmallows float in their cups of hot chocolate. It was the happiness they displayed as they gathered around our feet in the living room to watch Christmas movies. It was the gasp in their breath as we drove around the county to find the most perfect decorations. It was the look in their eyes as they gazed into the dark sky on Christmas Eve, hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa’s sleigh.
And it was the laughter they shared as they awoke to a house of toys, sweets and good food on Christmas Day.
It was their excitement the season that brought the magic back to my own spirit this year.
It reminded me to thank the Lord for sending his Son. It reminded me to hold my children a little tighter as we watched the same movies I watched as a child. It reminded me to hand out more peppermint sticks. It reminded me to stare at the lighted tree a little bit longer.
My children reminded me of the magic I so embraced as a child; the magic I perhaps lost along the way.
For a moment, I felt like a kid again, and it felt good to be back.