Shhh, she’s sleeping. Out cold! Finally! We creep out of the bedroom, softly closing the door and tip toe through the house finding all the hidden Santa gifts to put under the tree. It is an annual event in our home. We want to keep the magic of Christmas in the lives of our children, grandchildren, and in this, our great granddaughter for as long as we can.
Oh, not just the fun side of Christmas with Santa and bells and whistles, but the sacred side of Christmas needs to be kept alive as well. The story of the birth of the Christ child, for whom Christmas is named. The traditions of placing the baby in the manger carefully in each of the crèches we put up around the house, the simple pleasure of music written and performed for this time of year, and the joy of family around us are all part of the magic.
This year she is three, almost four, and Christmas magic is perfect in her eyes. She is amazed by the beautiful tree, and can’t wait to open her gifts that she has been eying under the tree for the past few weeks. She loved packing the gift baskets of home made goodies for our neighbors, because Christmas is also about giving. Watching her believe in the magic reinforces our deep belief in the miracle of the Christ child and all he represents to Christians over the world.
Once the Santa gifts are in place, Papa eats the cookies, and Nana eats the carrot sticks, as we sit in the dark room enjoying the lights from the tree and soft music. I slip into nostalgia, missing my boys being young and too excited to sleep. I miss those days as a young mother, life was ahead of us, and our sons were our future to carry on our traditions. Now here we are, great grandparents, watching our traditions play out to yet another generation of little ones. It is no wonder Christmas music can refuse me to a teary mess.
I can hardly wait for Christmas morning. Hot chocolate and muffins for breakfast, opening gifts, followed by a feast made in my kitchen and served at our table. Some are watching from above, some are far away, but in my heart I know they are thinking of home and the love that shines here for them. I am blessed. We are blessed. We may be old, with most of our lives behind us, but we see the future in the shining eyes of a three year old who believes, deep in her little soul, in the Magic of Christmas.