There are so few years where the magic of Christmas is real. I mean really real. I mean complete buy-in, no-questions-asked, not-a-doubt-in-their-minds kind of real. My kids are both inside that sweet spot now. Ages seven and four, they’re both old enough to remember Christmas memories from years gone past and yet still young enough to fully believe in Santa and elves and flying reindeer.
We’re currently in rural Alberta, visiting my parents and spending Christmas in the home I grew up in. The magic surrounds us. On Christmas morning, the kids bounded up the stairs to find their gifts from Santa waiting by the tree. “Look Mom, he ate the cookies,” they cried, “he drank the milk!”
“I saw some footprints across the lawn,” my dad told them, “I think it might be from the reindeer.”
“Really, Grandpa?” They asked. “Where, show us!” They looked out the front window and bought into his story without an ounce of doubt. Pyjama-clad kids, touting bedhead and sleepy eyes, peered into the darkness for a tiny glimpse at the aftermath of St. Nick’s busy Christmas Eve. Of course I know that the true meaning of Christmas is not about Santa Claus, but I also know that nothing compares to the big guy’s fascination.
I don’t think we have many more Christmases left where both kids are fully committed to the magic. In fact, I wondered if my eldest would be asking some questions this year, and I’m thankful that we seem to have come through this Christmas without suspicion. I want to soak up this innocence, this naïveté, this complete trust in something so full of wonder.
And when the time comes, and the Santa myth is discovered, I plan to follow some advice I recently read online, and teach my children “that they are a part of a larger community, that they can be magic and bring magic into someone else’s life.”
Magic. ‘Tis the season for magic.