As soon as December 1st arrived and our first chocolate in our advent eaten, we were rosy cheeked angels on our best behavior lest our mother get on the phone with Santa (or was it just my mother who apparently had him on speed dial?). Christmas Eve was TORTURE. The gifts all shiny and wrapped under the glittery tree taunting us with their mystery. Was it that new doll we had seen in the frosty window at the Bay? Or our favorite Disney movie? Or, in the year I was ten, a nintendo (old school) complete with Mario Brothers One, Two and Three?
I could never fall asleep for excitement. Especially because in my household stockings were placed at the foot of our beds so that I would wake up in the middle of the night and open it. I actually still get just as excited for stockings!
Now days that burning excitement and thrill is barely a flutter in my tummy. I must admit that I miss those days a wee bit - the only thing comparable in my adulthood has been the night before a big trip. My grandmother was amazing at keeping the magic in Christmas alive until her dying day. So I'm trying. And I have found that there is a new sort of magic in Christmas as we get older: the magic of giving.
As cheesy as that sounds, the 'magic of giving' has become almost, okay - as good as if not better - than getting. This year I was a terrible gift giver. I was terrible because I had no patience to wait until the big day. My gifts were FANTASTIC! They sat under my candy-like tree (it was covered in pretty pink and blue balls, snowmen on cupcakes, and ju-jube spinwheels topped with a star-shaped sugar cookie. So cute!) taunting me as if they were my nine-year-old own. I gave my parents gifts leading up to Christmas Eve, I gave the Engineer his big one on Christmas Eve Eve, and I made my girlfriend open her harmonica kit a week early. In fact, I gave away so many gifts that there was almost nothing left for Christmas morning. Oooops.
The days of not pouting or crying in case Santa might see, butterfly filled sleep, and dreamy wishing while gazing at our presents are over for me. But they have been replaced my finding joy in watching my mum's eyes fill with tears with her gift, or the Engineer actually showing excitement over his Disneyland pass. And discovering a perfect present for the impossible father: wine, wine and more wine. It really is quite magical.
And that, my friends, is the nouveau magic of Christmas. Happy Holidays!