Do you remember your favorite Christmas as a child? The one that was so full of magic, it was unlike anything you’ve experienced.
When Santa was undeniably real.
When your parents were your unquestionable heroes.
When all you felt was warmth, excitement.
When the lights on the Christmas tree were fireworks.
When snowflakes tasted like forbidden winter ice cream on your tongue.
The first time you licked a tangy peppermint candy cane, opened a window in a novelty calendar, got up well before sunrise and ran to the tree.
You probably don’t. But that’s because it only happens once, when you’re too young to remember it all.
This weekend, I lived the beginning of such a Christmas, as my four-year-old helped decorate the tree. He treated each ornament as if it was gold, no shabby-baby-boat-on-a-string was left behind, before I had a chance to fold out all the branches, he’d hung everything up. Making a list for Santa was deemed unnecessary, for all that seemed to matter was that he was coming. Ziplock bags full of his toys were scattered around the living room, presents for Teddy, not to be touched. At bedtime, he arranged a pillow next to the tree, and giving up his traditional night time cartoon, drank his milk staring at the blinking lights.
“Look! Beautiful shadows, mommy!” he said pointing at the ceiling.
Even the shadows were beautiful.
I have a photo of me, just a few months older than my son is today, it must be during my one true Christmas. Before some kid at preschool told me Santa wasn’t real, before Christmas gifts became a competition of who got the most or the biggest presents, before snow was just snow, before my parents seized to be deities, and before peppermint began to leave an unpleasant taste in my mouth.
Before I realized that magic could just be a moment, and not a forever.
I don’t remember that day, but thankfully someone took a photo to remind me. I write this for you little man, so you know your true Christmas happened, and hope your magic lasts a lifetime.