I wish I still believed in Santa. When I was a child, I barely slept on Christmas Eve, which made it difficult for my parents to get all the presents under the tree without me knowing they, not Santa, were the gift-bringers.
After fighting sleep for hours, my excitement growing with each little real or imagined noise in or outside the house, I drifted off for two or three hours. When I awakened, usually about 5:30 a.m., I would run down the hallway to the living room to find toys and wrapped gifts arranged carefully under the tree. One year, there was a little round table and chairs. Another time, a red tricycle. There were Barbie dolls, red cowgirl boots, storybooks and baby Thumbelina.
Magic. Pure, blow-your-mind magic. Every year. But the gifts weren’t the magic — it was the fact that they were there, that they had appeared while I slept, that they came from someplace I could only imagine.
Believing was so easy then. Now it’s harder. Even after I found out there was no Santa, I still believed in magic, in things unseen and unknown. I still do, but I find the belief hardest to hold on to during the time of year when it would seem to be most present.
Here it is the day before Thanksgiving and all I feel is dread for the coming six weeks. I’m not a grinch and it’s not even that I dislike Christmas or the holiday season. But there’s much too much expectation, too much frantic merrymaking, too much food, too much shopping, too much noise, too many versions of “Silent Night” blaring from speakers everywhere I go. Too much, too much, too much. The magic is lost in the cacophony of the season.
Last week, a friend asked me what I want for Christmas. I didn’t know what to say at the time. I stumbled around and said I’d think about it. So I did.
What I want for Christmas is more security and less stress, more time with family and friends, more time to enjoy the old and new things in my life. I would like to live the moment without having to remind myself to do so.
I want some silence and peace and good will. I want people to slow down, see the beauty in their lives, feel gratitude and be mindful of the gifts that can’t be found in any store. Why is everyone in such a rush?
I want simplicity. And magic. Pure magic.