Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Magic and the Tree

Christmas is full of magic. You might call it spirit, faith, wonder, or sparkle. I call it magic. The wonder that fills children's eyes as they discover what Christmas means to them... the spirit that we all begin to feel as we drive through neighborhoods lit up with lights and hear the Christmas Carols hummed in quiet reflection... the faith that is renewed inside our souls as we stand in church united with our fellow Christians hearing the Christmas story that we've heard every year since we were born, and yet it brings tears to our eyes and a lump in our throats each time... the sparkle that seems to cover everything in sight - white snow crystals falling on evergreens, the sparkle in the eyes of grandparents seeing their grandchildren's joy, the tinsel twinkling on a Christmas tree, the glitter falling to the floor from the Christmas time crafts and hand-made ornaments. It's all magic. It transforms our hearts and our souls each year, if we let it.
Every year for as long as I can remember, I have had a real Christmas tree. I remember my Dad taking us as kids to a tree farm not too far from home to choose a tree. We tromped through the snow, searching for just the right one, one we could all agree on. I even remember going out to the woods behind our house and cutting a tree down from there. We were always planting new trees, and it was fun to watch them grow and wonder if they would some day be a Christmas tree. Cliff and I go to a tree farm not too far from our house now and choose our tree there. We love choosing our tree from Santa's Evergreens. The family who owns it are the sort of people you feel you could just sit down with and share a cup of coffee. We load the tree up on the car and take it home. The smell of an evergreen is magical to me. The way that the lights look through the branches is enchanting. There is just something magical about it. Last year, Gavin was only a couple of weeks old when we went to get our tree, so he stayed asleep, warm in the car, while we chose our tree. We were excited to bring him with us this year, to share the fun with him. But, when he fell asleep in the car shortly before we arrived at the tree farm, we decided it was best to let him sleep, so we chose the tree while he slept in the car, warm and comfortable.

He loved the tree and the ornaments. He would have climbed the ladder if we had let him, so he could hang the angel on the top, but it was too high. He sat on the floor, playing with the ornaments that we had hung within his reach, the ones he couldn't break and the ones we thought he would enjoy the most.

On Christmas morning, Gavin had a new Christmas Ornament in his stocking, an ornament of his very own. It was a small yellow bird, with jingle-bell feet and a red hat. He carefully picked up his new ornament by it's string and jingled it's little bell feet.
We both so enjoyed sharing the magic of Christmas with Gavin this year. We sat in our pajamas and admired the sparkling Christmas Tree, we read him books telling the stories of Christmas - Jesus in the Manger and the Christmas Star. We sang the Christmas Hymns in Church, surrounded by our fellow Christians, whispering the words to the hymns in his ear. We showed him the nativity scene, telling him what role each person and animal played. We showed him what it means to give, sharing gifts with family and friends who we love and appreciate. We spent time with people we love, taking in every moment, and holding on to it. We are so blessed to have the life that we have, the people that we love, and the magic of Christmas in our hearts. We think Gavin enjoyed the magic of Christmas too.

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