December 2005

The Magic of Christmas

Despite the increased level of commercialization and greed that now pervades our culture from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year's Day, there is still something I find inherently magical about the season of Christmas.

Yes, Christmas is a Christian holiday, and not all religious or non-religious groups may choose to acknowledge or celebrate it, but it's hard to ignore.  In political correctness, we have replaced nativity scenes and angelic choruses with inflatated snowmen and pop jingles.  But these representations haven't totally removed the underlying premises of peace, joy and good will toward all people; those values are still core in this holiday.  Christmas is the celebration of birth, the gift of life given to us by our Divine Creator.  We celebrate the presence of a great Master among us, from his humble beginnings in the most natural of births in a stable.  In the midst of the winter solstice where the days are bitter cold and darkness overpowers the light; when the land is barren and fruitless, we are reminded of a great hope.  A star guides our hearts and dreams toward promises of love and eternity. 

There is something palpably mystical on Christmas Eve night.  The sky is usually clear and crisp and there is an audible stillness, as if the music of the spheres were echoing across the land.  For many years, I have driven to and from midnight Mass alone, and on those drives, this ethereal Spirit has encompassed me each and every time. I am often moved to tears at the site of a world transformed into a fairytale of glistening snow, sparkling lights and fantasy characters.  There is a romanticism to be found in the ambiance of the season.  It opens the heart and softens the senses in a way that is unspeakable.

The magic of Christmastime is a treat for all the senses.  We hear distinct carols reserved for this special time of year.  They carry with them memories of Christmastimes past which we can recollect and cherish.  Our eyes are mesmerized with the glow of lights and the flickering of candles; the world transformed into a mystical realm.  There are also special tastes and smells of the season: egg nog, gingerbread, sugar cookies decorated with cinnamon candies, and parties where you can indulge in hors d'oeuvres and champagne.  The Season of Peace envelops us in its blanket of comfort and joy.

We use this special time to reach out to those we may not normally extend ourselves to.  We give to charities and those less blessed than ourselves.  We send greeting cards to far away friends and relatives to keep our connections alive.  We exchange gifts and relish in the delight we see in the eyes of those who receive our offerings.  We are also, ourselves, gifted by those who give to us.  We are reminded that we are loved, cherished and valuable.

The magic of Christmas is a power that lies dormant in each of us throughout the year.  It is awakened each year at this time, and brought to life.  It is something we carry with us always and we should make an effort to keep that magic alive, even a little bit, all year long.

©2005 Starr-Rhapsody Creations.  All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be copied or reproduced without permission of the author.

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