Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Magic of Christmas

Christmas is two weeks from yesterday. It is a magical time of year. Ever since I was small, there was always something magical about Christmas.

I remember once when I was around 5 or 6 years old I began to doubt the existence of Santa Clause. I determined that what I needed was empirical evidence to either confirm or deny that Santa Clause was the source of my presents. I was very small at the time (as opposed to the towering monolith of manliness that I am today) and so I could squeeze into tight places. I determined that I would find a good hiding place in view of the Christmas Tree where I would wait out the night on Christmas Eve.

I figured that I would either see Santa Clause or my parents, and this would provide me with the evidence I needed to determine once and for all if there was a large elf who could travel at faster than light speeds delivering presents to all 6 billion residents of the planet in one night.

Well, as I lay in my hiding place the time marched on. From the perspective of my child brain I remember laying there for hours upon hours. It could have possibly been days or even weeks. Of course, judging from how children that I know view the world, it was probably 15 or 20 minutes. But after that eternal amount of time I began to doubt my doubts. I thought that if there was a Santa Clause he would probably be aware that I was watching. He probably wouldn't come because I was there. I decided that I wasn't willing to risk the pain of not receiving presents. It wasn't worth it, even for the knowledge gained. I retired to my bed, bested by Santa Clause.

I suppose a part of me didn't want to lose the magic. Since then, I have been in the room when my mom put the presents under the tree. As a teenager I apparently stayed up later then my parents were willing to wait. I rebuked them for ruining the magic, but I'm sure they were just assisting Santa. He does have a lot of people to visit.

The magic still lives today, but it's no longer about Santa Clause. I wanted to share a few of the things that still feel magical to me.

Robyn doesn't like snow. While she was growing up, their version of a white Christmas was a foggy day. I told her that California doesn't have real Christmas. There's something about a freshly fallen Snow, and the Christmas lights as they shine through it. I love the feeling when you stand outside as the snow is falling and the world looks completely clean and untouched. The snow all around has never been stepped in, it's like the world has been born again.

I love to receive presents, I'm not gonna lie. But I also really love giving that perfect gift, the one that surprises and delights the receiver. Robyn says I get a "sneaky face" when I give her that gift. Our first Christmas together I apparently had the sneaky face on Christmas Eve and it caused her to wake up ridiculously early, and then quietly and pleadingly wake me up and ask "can we open presents now?"

There's something magical about being with those you love. You can relax, laugh together and feel all the warm fuzzy feelings that make Christmas amazing.

The miracle of our Savior's birth and life
The greatest Christmas gift any of us has ever received is the miracle of forgiveness. Our Savior paid for our sins so that each of us could become clean and be allowed to live again in our Father's kingdom. Through him we can overcome death as well as our own wretched sins.

I hope you all have a wonderful merry Christmas. What are some of the things that you think are magical about this time of year?


  1. Making Christmas treats! Magic fills the air as it is lightly dusted with flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves or other lovely holiday smells. I love making them to share and seeing the smiles that light up peoples faces when they have had a treat that tastes delicious to them! I think cooking is magic, now I just need and elf to do all the cleaning up after the magic is done.

  2. I love the snow. I love Christmas lights. I always loved Grandpa Santa, and I miss that a lot. I like presents - especially watching others open up "that special gift". I love how excited mom and Mellen get about Christmas traditions. I love that someone always "ruins Christmas", and I love that we don't have a lot of traditions for Christmas day.

  3. I love the family parties, the old Stevenson programs--how I wish we would have video taped all of those. I loved how you would wake us up at unearthly hours and we would say go back to sleep-but really I loved that you were excited. I love all the work, all the thinking hard about what to get, what will be special or just fun. I guess mostly I just love being with people that I love and sharing a moment of happiness with them.

  4. First: according to google charts there were only about 5 billion people alive when you were wondering how he made it to 6 billion people.

    On a separate note, I love snow. Two years ago I sat on my parent's porch on Christmas night with some hot chocolate. I sat there and watched the snow fall under the street lamp. It was magical. That was a really, really rough time in my life, but those few moments in the snow helped so much. That is what I love about Christmas.

  5. I always kind of new Santa wasn't real but I also just enjoyed believing in him. In fact I have empircal evidence that he is real. The first year I did not leave out cookies (which may or may not have been when I was 13) I woke up Christmas morning and was ridiculously sick. Santa had cursed me for giving up on him. There is your empirical evidence.

    My favorite part is probably just the excitement everyone has. Finals ending, gift giving, lights, and muppets christmas carol. it's awesome.

  6. You guys are all so wise.

    Robyn, I can't believe I didn't include any food on my list of magical things. Food is always magical.

    Jen, I miss Grandpa Santa as well. I also really love that someone always "ruins Christmas" it's one of our best family Christmas traditions.

    Mom, now Robyn takes the role of waking me up at unearthly hours. But if you miss getting up ridiculously early I would be willing to hide some alarm clocks in your room set to go off at a number of unearthly times.

    Jared, I was 6, how was I to know how many people there were? But thanks for the correction.

    Patty, I like your empirical evidence. I think it's settled. Santa is real.


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