Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Magic


All day yesterday I was thinking about Magic. I get all nostalgic for the Christmas of my childhood but usually not until Christmas Eve. The realities of the commercial celebration of Christmas drown out any thoughts or feelings about Magic, but on Christmas Eve things have settled down—relatively speaking—and it's a lot easier to let other thoughts in.

For many people—myself included—Christmas is a travesty. Some turn to Solstice celebrations as an alternative but I have never warmed up to that one, somehow celebrating the return of the sun at the beginning of winter just seems wrong. In this latitude we have several months of very long cold nights ahead of us before the return of the sun becomes noticeable. Winter in the Maritimes can be quite horrible, what with blizzards, power outages, and bitter winds. The return of the sun just seems like a nasty joke at this time of year. Maybe in March...

On Christmas Eve I remember how I felt about Christmas as a child. When you are really young and gullible you believe in Santa Claus bringing you the toys and gifts you long for, in the whole Nativity story with its angels and bright stars guiding wise men to the birth of a Holy Child. The Holy Child.

The Santa Claus story gets dropped first, at some point you realize it is just make-belief perpetrated by adults. You pretend you believe anyways because there are hoped-for gifts involved. But the Nativity story stays with you longer because even adults seem to believe in that one. And it is a magical event full of joy and wonder. 

The only other Christian Holy Day that comes anywhere close is Easter, but that is tinged with betrayal, horror and despair. Adults give you the story of the Easter Bunny to make up for all that but like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny is exposed as a fraud pretty early. The gifts that the Easter Bunny brings pale in comparison to the gifts of Santa Claus. 

For me, Christmas and Easter are the only times that Magic becomes real, the bright and dark sides of Magic. I think of it as a whole other world that briefly touches our world of reality and cold hard facts at those times. So on Christmas Eve, I think about and feel the bright joyful side of Magic. It is close enough to touch. On Christmas Day it spins out and away, not to return until Good Friday in its darkest form of death and sadness, but Christmas Eve is a time of awe and deepfelt joy. 

Last night I kept going outside to listen for the harness bells of Santa's magical reindeer-drawn sleigh. As a child I convinced myself that I really could hear Santa's sleigh, so I continue to listen for that even in old age. I looked for Betelgeuse but it was a cloudy night and I didn't see it. I have heard that Betelgeuse has dimmed in preparation for going supernova and I would like to see that for myself.

3 comments:

SAROJ GHIMIRE said...

U got some beautiful words here , and i was wondering if i can get some knowledge about the feelings of heart to show it in words ...merry christmas

Annie said...

Thank you for your comment Saroj, I like your blog and your idea for it, I hope you are successful.

Wisewebwoman said...

I, like you, would hear those bells and sometimes on a good Christmas Eve with sparkly snow and a clear sky I can still hear the faint jingle. I was 9 when I stopped believing and it broke my heart.

I find Solstice comforting and I am so glad we celebrate it. It is a promise, long delayed but inevitable in its coming.

XO
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