Christmas...a time when magic fills the air, the twinkling lights and glow of the Christmas tree fills your heart with peace, Christmas songs lift your spirit, you feel alive!!! And why shouldn't we as we celebrate the birth of Christ? What He gave for us to be able to enjoy this holiday, this festival, to have this peace fill us? And with Christmas, comes the added bonus of Santa and his reindeer and sleigh filled with toys for good girls and boys. Commercial? Maybe, but it has it's own sense of magic, and with kids in the house, you can't help but get caught up in the adventure of Santa and all that he means.
I purchased The Polar Express as it's my favorite Christmas story, and the boys have enjoyed watching it with me numerous times since I pulled it fresh from the package last week. They don't quite get the message, but my heart burns and my eyes fill with tears each time I watch the movie, feeling the magic and hearing the jingle of the bell, the sign that I am a believer...and believer I am. I remember when I first started to question Santa Claus and whether he was real, my mom gave me some very steadfast words of wisdom: The magic of Santa will never leave you as long as you believe. And each year as I wrap packages and see the twinkle in my children's eyes as they await Santa's visit, I know that her words ring true; for me, Santa is magical!
But, there is another side to this story, one that fills me with a bit of sadness, a sense of loss, a wish for a bit more magic. Erwin did not grow up knowing Santa. He did not celebrate Christmas in the manner that I know Christmas...nor did my in-laws and many other people from this part of the world. In school, Christmas is only discussed as the birth of baby Jesus...there are no stories of Santa and what he will bring, no sitting on Santa's knee and telling him your dreams for the year. And because Erwin has never known the magic of Santa, he cannot share the excitement of the Christmas season with me. He sees only Sinterklaas as the magical holiday figure and makes jokes about Santa, the fat, drunk man trying to look like Sinterklaas. He doesn't feel the magic of this cheery fellow with a nose like a cherry that laughs like a bowl full of jelly. He doesn't grasp the feeling of nostalgia I have when trying to bring this magic alive for my children in a culture where he does not reign king. He can't understand the deep love of the Christmas holiday that I have, the magic that fills my soul, the spirit that comes in the form of Santa.
That's why, as I watch The Polar Express, I cry. I ache for my husband to feel the same magic that I do. To have just a glimmer of the passion that comes with my favorite holiday of the year. And he can't, becasue he has no history. My in-laws came and the boys tlaked them into watching The Polar Express. As I sat at the ending with tears streaming down my cheeks, they couldn't possibly understand what it meant to me. They haven't got that magic in their hearts...the magic that comes from childhood and brings you to this moment in your life. They have that magic only when Sinterklaas arrives, but with Santa, it's me alone that has to pass on this tradition, the magic, the spirit of this jolly fellow and hope that my children grow up believing as I do...believing in the magic of this red-suited man with a twinkle in his eye. Because if you believe, the magic of Santa will live on forever...wise words passed down through the generations!
I will leave you with a hearty HO HO HO!!!! MERRRRRYYYY CHRISTMAS! And wishes for the magic of this blessed season to fill your heart...