Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Magic of Christmas

  It is usually easy to  conjure  up that old Christmas magic every year.  The sound of Christmas hymns in church ,  the smell of pine in the air, the gradual appearance of lights and decorations just as the darkness of winter comes upon us,  and the excited anticipation of children everywhere, all stir up in my heart,   the magic of Christmas' past.

 Perhaps nothing does it for me quite like the decorations I put on my Christmas tree. Each one is dusted with the magic of Christmas memories. A few were on the first tree I ever saw in my parent's house!

      When I was very young, we lived in the basement of my grandparent's house.  What I remember most about Christmas was the lights.   We had  bubble lights (since outlawed as dangerous)  that  were shaped like candles but had bubbling liquid in them. They were magical and  I loved them.  And perhaps because I was so close to the floor, I recall looking, in absolute wonder at the glittering balls and decorations on the tree.  Magic!

 On Christmas morning, we opened our presents, then some time later, Nannie would come to the stairs and call us,  saying that Santa had come upstairs  to her house too.   My sister  and I would run upstairs  to find another tree with more gifts under it.  Magic!!  


     My favorite memory of  my other grandmother involves her suggestion that we call "Saaaanta" into the old fireplace in the living room.  Before long, we would hear, coming right out of the fireplace, Santa's voice!!!!   Years later, my mother  told me that Grandma would answer us through the heat registers in another room and the sound of her voice would travel and sound like it was coming out of the fire place. Magic!!

       Moving to the suburbs a few years later, brought new and unforgettable traditions.  My father set up the only outdoor creche in the neighborhood and someone  got all the kids together to practice singing Christmas carols and every year on December 23rd, we went caroling after dark.  Finally we gathered around the creche on our lawn to sing one last hymn.  Then someone gave out hot chocolate and we warmed up.   Magic!

   I recall three gifts from my childhood.  When I was perhaps four or five, I got a chain drive tricycle.  I was thrilled that Santa brought me such a big bike!  Magic!  Another year, I  received a  John Nagy Drawing Kit,  something I had coveted.  I guess that was an example of early television advertising.  Still, it was magic!   By the time  I was nine or ten, we received mostly clothing  for Christmas but always, a few Nancy Drew books were tucked away behind all the clothes boxes.   I opened them last and spent the rest of Christmas Day reading.  Magic! 

     Once I married and  started to have children , the idea of Christmas magic shifted and  suddenly  we became the magicians - no longer did we expect magic, we now wanted to make it!   Soon we were creating our own family  traditions even as we added more babies to our family.

  We began collecting decorations for our tree,  adding a few more every year.  Watching the little ones react to the lights  was magic!   When the children were old enough, they made ornaments and those remain some of  my most cherished. 

    Sharing the  ancient Christmas story about the Light of the World with each child, perpetuating the magic of Santa for another generation and sharing with them the joy of giving carried with it  special joys.  I revisit each memory when I see the tree in all its glory.    

     Recently, our grandson  has brought the wonder and delight of childhood back into our lives.  Every light and ornament looks brand new when I look at it with him. As he stares with wide eyes at my Christmas music boxes and studies each ornament on the tree, I can experience Christmas through the eyes of a child again.  Magic!!

     My Christmas memories fall loosely into three eras : my childhood, my children's childhood,  and my grandson's childhood. And my tree has ornaments on it from all of those years.  Each one, sparkling with memories,  is capable of bringing the innocent joy of Christmas to my heart.  

 My fondest hope and wish is for the Christmas Light to grow brighter every year until  all hearts are touched by its brilliance.  


Shared with Recuerda Mi Corazon   Postcards from Paradise.


  1. ... and also with you! You've brought tears of joy to my eye! Merry Christmas! Sooo glad we found each other in the Internet ether!

  2. Beautiful post and memories ~ Wow! Fantastic photos ~ Merry Xmas ^_^

    (A Creative Harbor ~ArtMuseDog and Carol ^_^)

  3. So beautiful, Barbara. The spirits of all those Chistmases past entwined into Christmas present. And with the grands now here, just think of all the Christmas futures to be.

    Merry Christmas to you and to all your loved ones.

  4. dear barbara,
    sharing your christmas journey with you just now has filled my heart with so much love. your stories and memories are so dear and precious! truly love is capable of weaving all our hearts together. the way your tender memories grow with each generation i so want our world to wake up to inclusive love, to open all hearts and doors to the house of belonging. thank you for your heart warming offering here today. thank you for sharing your beautiful light!

  5. Your tree ornaments bring back lots of memories. Love them! Merry Christmas.

  6. A lovely post. Thank you for the tour of your many treasured ornaments. May God bless your family and you.xx

  7. and also with you, Barbara! Just a very lovely and truth post! Merry Christmas dear to you and your family! xxoo LVL and The Herbal Husband

  8. Such beautiful ornaments Barbara. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends, or perhaps some extra quiet time with a good book that you really enjoyed.

  9. What lovely ornaments with such sentimental value and great memories. Hope you had a nice Christmas and wishing you a wonderful new year :)

  10. Hi Barbara, I'm a little late to the party, but wanted to thank you for the beautiful photos and magic :-) Happy New Year!!


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