The Christmas season is such a wonderful time of year. The season of joy and magic! There are endless possibilities of the ways this magic touches your life. The magic of faith and believing inspires many people to trust in something bigger than themselves, something they could never fully understand. That faith brings them courage and strength to live their life with kindness and grace. This time of year our faith is the light that shines for those on these long, cold, winter nights.
Faith can mean so many different things to different people. And sometimes we forget that it's faith in general that connects us rather than what it is specifically we believe in. We all celebrate Christmas in our own special way. There are many traditions we carry on from generation to generation.
My childhood Christmas memories mean everything to me. This may be why I love the Christmas season so much! My favorite memories range from the annual Christmas Lights car ride, where we jump in grandpa's car and he drives us around to the best lit up houses in town, to opening one present on Christmas eve or all of them if your 4 year old little brother runs into the room saying mom and dad said we could open all the presents! My favorite Christmas memory, however, was when I was 10 years old.
I don't remember ever believing in Santa Claus. I remember getting presents from Santa on Christmas morning but somehow I always knew or thought I knew that they were really from mom and dad. I did, however, always believe in the Spirit of Christmas. There was always that magic I sensed around the season. I envied the kids who did believe in Santa, I wanted that magic as a little girl.
This Christmas, when I was 10, I wrote a letter to Santa. I told him everything I wanted from the new Backstreet boys CD to a baby doll that could talk. We stayed at my grandparents house that Christmas Eve. I asked my Aunt Kathy if I could leave out some milk and cookies for Santa. Instead of looking at me like I was too old to believe in Santa, she helped me get a plate of my grandma's best Christmas cookies, and a big glass of cold milk. I went to bed that night more excited for Christmas day than I had ever been before. The next morning I ran up stairs and immediately noticed the empty glass and the plate with all the cookies gone, only crumbs remained and a little note. The note thanked us for the wonderful cookies and wished us a Merry Christmas! It was signed, Santa Claus. As I read this note, I was overfilled with joy. I felt that Christmas magic. Even then I knew or again, thought I knew, the note was written by my Aunt Kathy. That didn't matter to me. I was so happy she embraced that child like faith for me, and my brother and sisters. I don't remember if I received the presents I asked for that year. I do remember my Aunt Kathy surprised the family with a trip to Disney Land in California. The day after Christmas my Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Kathy, Mom, Ashleigh, Randall, Caitlyn and I jumped into the vehicles and took off on our first family vacation!
For many people, this season isn't always so wonderful. For some, Christmas is a time of sorrow. It is a reminder of how cold the winter nights truly are, or how cruel life can be, or even a reminder of a loved one, no longer there to celebrate the holidays. This is why it is so important to spread the Christmas cheer. When you are full of joy and laughter, when you give back to the community a little easier or a little more, when you make that extra mile for someone else, that is the light, the hope of the world. And though that magic may come a little easier to you during the holidays, it is a magic we can embrace all year round.
Have a very merry holiday season,
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