the magic of christmas

More than the lights, trees, wrapped gifts, carols, traditions, and get-togethers, I love the magic of Christmas. It is something that cannot be defined very easily. It's not something that can be purchased and wrapped. It's not something that can be stored up from year-to-year. The memories of it can live on, but the feeling is fleeting and something that must be savored in its entirety when it exists.

This Christmas we had a few of those magic moments. I won't share all of the details, but I wanted to record a few of them to help us remember that the magic of Christmas still exists, no longer how old you are.

The first one happened just a week before Christmas. I attribute this moment to just being in the right place at the right time.  A minute sooner or later would not have resulted in the same opportunity. What came from this moment turned out to be one of the best moments of Christmas to date. It reminded us that angels still exist...even if it is those around us.

The second one came as we branched out and had our very own Christmas Eve and Christmas. In years past, we have spent it at my dad's house. But with little Blake, we decided it was the year to start having our own Christmas.  I'll be honest, I was a little nervous that doing our own might not live up to the expectations I had, but it certainly did. We drove slowly back to our house from my dad's through the heavy snow storm. Once we got off the exit, we drove through charming streets of little brick houses adorned with twinkle lights.  Our traditional drive-to-see-lights was short, but magical.  We then settled in to our cozy little apartment for the night. The magic of Christmas was there. And it just got grew and grew as the night went on. We had a candlelight Christmas Eve dinner of twice baked-potatoes, honey-baked ham, green beans, and sparkling cider. We read Twas the Night Before Christmas with Blake before we put him to bed. Then Brandon and I put wrote our letter to Santa, burned it, played a few games, and cuddled up on the couch to finish our nativity advent by reading from the Bible to the lights of the Christmas tree.

I got up to feed Blake and I noticed that Santa had already visited us. The sight of our Christmas was magic.

Another magic moment came from watching my dad open his gift from us. In my family, we draw names. Instead of buying something, we do something that is thoughtful, specific to the person we have. This has forced us to get creative. For my dad this year, we gave him "Memories of Christmas Past." We are often reminiscing about how festive my mom was, but my dad was right there with her. So we gathered memories from his siblings and my siblings and put them in a tin box. The magic of Christmas came when I could see his eyes glisten as he realized that our Christmases have been special because he has made them that way by carrying on traditions like fudge-making, driving to see the lights on Christmas Eve, reading the Christmas story, delivering gifts, and on and on.

Christmas is magical.

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