Whilst I can hardly believe that it’s December 1st (I feel like it was only days ago when I was writing my January 1st blog), I’m also flush with excitement. Because I love December, with all the Christmas festivities it brings. In fact, I’m extra excitable this year, having just come back from Amsterdam, which was just magical.
And that’s what I want to talk about today: magic.
Because in the last few years, or decades even, Christmas has lost some of its’ sparkle. Hijacked by commercialism, it has become something we complain about when we see shops selling decorations in September; or feel obliged to spend money we can’t afford on flashy presents; or force-feed ourselves chocolates when we’re already full-to-bursting. Whether you celebrate Christmas as a Christian, or simply observe it as a cultural tradition, this latest version, with its’ excessive greed, materialism and selfish indulgence, feels a long way away from what it used to be.
To me, Christmas is about magic.
It’s about appreciating the cold weather outside, along with the chance to route out your warmest hat, gloves and scarf.
It’s about listening to Christmas music, smelling the mulled wine brewing and feeling the pine of the tree as it goes up (only to be pulled down by a charging cat later on).
It’s about opening the door of the advent calendar each morning and spending evenings under a fluffy blanket, with glowing candles lighting the room.
It’s about watching an old black and white version of ‘Scrooge,’ remembering how I used to resist and complain when my dad forced us to watch it as kids, acknowledging the irony now as it has become my favourite festive ritual.
It’s about savoring a Mince Pie as you wrap up your presents, sending love and affection to the person you’re wrapping for, imagining their face as they open it.
It’s about spending time in the company of people you love, giving them your attention and showing them that you really care, often with board games involved.
More than anything, it’s about recreating and recapturing a little piece of my inner-child; that little girl who truly believed in magic, simply because she felt it.
Life becomes much more serious when you’re a grown-up; when we only believe in what we see, touch or measure. Useful? Yes. Boring? Also yes.
I’m not suggesting that you head off in search of Santa Clause, only that you allow yourself to ease up on the ‘adulting’ routine this month; that you take the time to experience whatever Christmas means to you; that you listen out for these warm feelings in your belly, sharing them with those you care about.