Monday, November 15, 2004
We are all magic, if we choose to be magic.Oh, I KNOW it's really too early for a Christmas tree. I'll have to make fun of myself now, because I've always made fun of people who start getting out the lights before Thanksgiving.
But, but, but. . . . this is DIFFERENT.
(Please hold while I try to rationalize this somehow. . . . . . . .)
Okay, here's my reason:
I'm hosting two Thanksgiving dinners here and, um, I want the families to see our tree. Yes, that's it. I want both families to see our tree. Our Christmas tree. On Thanksgiving. Oh poop. Let me think some more.
Okay, how about this? It's too much work to be displayed only for a week.
Nah, I wouldn't accept that one myself. It smacks of either an unconcerned holiday amateur, or a jaded burned-out lazy ass who doesn't really care one way or another about making a house festive.
How about this: Parents are magic. We have, in our fingertips and in all those old boxes, the power to transform ordinary things into things of magic and wonder. We have the power to transform an ordinary day into a Holiday. There is more than tinsel and glass and molded Hallmark treasures in those boxes. There are memories, stored in those boxes. There is each child's First Christmas, in those boxes. There is the Christmas we were all too sick to go to Grandma's, so we had to stay home and entertain each other. There is an ornament from the Christmas of the Emergency Room visit. There are ornaments made of styrofoam and glue and glitter. There is the ornament someone bought in the Chicago airport, just because it caught his eye and he thought someone else might like it. There is the ornament a little girl used to lie under the tree and watch, JUST IN CASE the elves would peek out the window of it and wave at her. There is the ornament with sad eyes that a little boy worried about, year after year. I have a Christmas angel made out of a torn purple pillow case and a toilet paper tube, and a piece of that same pillow case with "Oh come holy spit" written on it in black magic marker. It's worth more to me than anything in Tiffany's. Erma Bombeck had one, too; when I read about hers I felt kinship! I know where and when everything on that tree was purchased, or made, or given. A real Christmas fanatic can tell you the circumstances under which almost any ornament on that tree was obtained.
I can look at my tree and see more than just a beautiful twinkling tree. I look at my Christmas tree and I can see all the years of my family's life, represented on the branches.
I can remember, as a child, sitting on the floor and just staring at our tree. It was almost beyond my comprehension that our house could contain such glowing wonder. It was like magic. My mother created magic, in our house. How did she do it? I still don't know. I only know that I have tried to create that same magic in my house, for my children, and I hope I have succeeded.
This is the first year, in almost thirty years of marriage, that I have started creating it this early. Part of me screams, "You idiot, why so early?" And the rest of me answers, "Because."
Power. Parents have power to change a mundane day into a day of wonder. Our children's memories depend on our willingness to use that power.
Sometimes we are so physically exhausted that it's difficult to put out the effort. Don't ever let yourself get caught in that trap. Once you start, it's easy to continue.
Your children are worth the time. And so are you. Get up from that chair, get those boxes down from wherever they're stored, and get busy. Make magic for your children.
Otherwise, they won't know how to make magic for their own children.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:17 PM | |