"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
As I write this blog today, it certainly feels like Christmas is fast approaching. The weather outside is frosty and cold and a white blanket covers the landscape.
As I often do, I asked for guidance on what to write about today and pulled a card for inspiration, the card I pulled was "Children"
When I see this card it brings to mind the excitement of being a child at Christmas. The anticipation of the arrival of father Christmas and his reindeers and I can almost feel the butterflies in my tummy as I recall Christmasses past, both as a child and when my daughter was little.
Oh if I could just bottle that excited anticipation, what a joy!
I remember how magical it was to write my letter to father Christmas, I would even draw little pictures and decorate my letter with holly and snowmen.
I also remember that my mum and dad would always ask if I'd been good, or I would get coal and sticks on Christmas morning ( With the sub zero temperatures outside right now, that seems quite appealing I have to be honest!)
Do you remember the magic of Christmas Eve as a child?
I would set out a mince pie, a small glass of sherry and a carrot or two for the reindeers, along with a little note for Father Christmas. Then I recall going to bed really early, so that Christmas morning would come quicker!
I can still remember being tucked up in bed listening intently for the sound of the sleighbells and the clatter of the reindeers hooves on the roof of our house.
When Christmas morning came, I would open my eyes, feeling excitement in every cell of my body (Generally this would take place at some unsavoury hour I might add!) and there would be a pillow case at the bottom of my bed with presents in it.
I'd drag it through to my mum and dad's bedroom shouting "He's been ,He's been!" and my blarey eyed parents would watch in wonder as I gasped excitedly over every present I unwrapped.
I don't think as a child you can possibly appreciate just what joy it is for a parent or grandparent, to see a child's face light up on Christmas morning.
Of course there was always a satsuma ,some nuts and some chocolate coins at the bottom of my pillow case!
When my daughter came along, our Christmas traditions changed somewhat, we adopted some of my step-mums family traditions. Christmas eve would be a family event of preparing veg for Christmas day dinner, as soon as my daughter was old enough she too was enlisted to put crosses on the bottom of the sprouts!
Oh and we had to make plenty to ensure there was enough for "Bubble and squeak" on Boxing day.
There would always be a Christmas film at the cinema on Christmas eve, so that would also be a tradition for us to go and watch a Christmassy film.
Christmas morning, gathered the whole family, of several generations around the Christmas tree, where the youngest members of the family would then act as postmen, giving out the presents. We would open one present at a time, taking it in turns. Everyone sharing in the joy of seeing each person opening their gifts.
Recalling my own Christmas experiences today has left me all tingling inside,all excited and with anticipation for the Christmas that's fast approaching.
Sometimes we become way too serious, or we loose the childlike wonder of Christmas, don't you think?
It can all too easily become a time of stress and pressure, focussed on spending more money and worrying about how we will provide food and merriment. But when it comes down to it, you know what the most important thing is that I recall?
It's the little bit of Christmas magic !
It's not about who bought the biggest most expensive gift, It's about sharing time with those we love, taking time to give and receive, and it really is the thought that counts.
Which makes me recall another little bit of Christmas magic from being a child....I would magically wrap up the same three little wise monkeys every year to give to the family under the tree.....you know as a reminder to "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" not a bad idea really,now I come to think of it!
Just getting back to visualising and feeling what it was like to be a little child at Christmas has been such a moment of magic for me today.
I Hope it may be able to spread a little bit of Christmas magic to you too!
I stumbled across a lovely poem that I thought I'd share.
Recipe for Christmas All Year Long
Take a heap of child-like wonder
That opens up our eyes
To the unexpected gifts in life--
Each day a sweet surprise.
Mix in fond appreciation
For the people whom we know;
Like festive Christmas candles,
Each one has a special glow.
Add some giggles and some laughter,
A dash of Christmas food,
(Amazing how a piece of pie
Improves our attitude!)
Stir it all with human kindness;
Wrap it up in love and peace,
Decorate with optimism, and
Our joy will never cease.
If we use this healthy recipe,
We know we will remember
To be in the Christmas spirit,
Even when it's not December.
By Joanna Fuchs
I urge you now to take a few moments out of the Christmas rush to stop and take yourself back to recall your own little bit of Christmas magic.......
Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles.
Until next time,
Make every moment count!
Go on have a little bit of Childlike wonder....The Magic Christmas Star!