Christmas season is still magical

A couple of nights ago, my husband and I watched the classic holiday movie ?Christmas Vacation.? We laughed as good ol? Clark Griswold drove under a semi-truck, stapled himself to a gutter, fussed with 25,000 twinkle lights and ran from a misplaced squirrel.

And all those mishaps were in the name of a ?good, old-fashioned? Christmas.

Poor guy. He just wanted to host a perfect holiday. Instead, he got all his windows smashed in.

I?m guessing many people can relate. Maybe not to those extremes, but certainly to unmet expectations.

I remember the disappointment of my fifth-grade self when my Santa Claus expectations fell flat. Some of the season lost its magic after that.

While devastating at the time, it opened space now filled by the hope of Christmas…that is, the birth of a little baby named Jesus.

Magic is on the up-tick. Especially with three children in the house.

Everything is a new wonder for them?looking at Christmas lights (we are especially fond of the angels at the Methodist church and the nativity at the Lutheran church), baking cookies with friends (I am still sweeping sprinkles off my floor, despite baking weeks ago) and anticipating a family trip to Build A Bear (something that has been looked forward to since the summer).

We will celebrate another ?baby?s first Christmas? this year with our precious baby boy.

Our church Christmas program was also highly anticipated. Both of our girls took to the stage this year in fancy dresses and sparkle shoes. It was our oldest?s third year to have a part and our middle?s first year. Both made us proud. Magic abounded as we listened to little voices proclaiming, ?I love the baby Jesus, do you?? and ?Jesus my shepherd is coming for me.?

Every evening we tear another strip of paper off our Christmas countdown, visually shortening the wait.

But the most magical event of the month has been something completely unexpected. But in a good way.

Some person/family has been gifting us in secret. The first gift came one evening while we were away, with a promise of more to come.

The givers are slowly building a manger scene, one piece at a time. And it?s so much fun.

Our girls keep guessing what will come next…and are constantly wondering when another gift will arrive. Seriously, they ask Every. Single. Day. And it?s wonderful.

When the doorbell rings, our oldest rushes to the door to retrieve the fun-filled gift. (And a little credit to the giver, who must fly off the porch rather than use the stairs. We have yet to catch a glimpse.)

The wrapping is soon ripped off, the riddle read and the newest manger addition placed in the stable.

It thrills me to no end to watch my girls being filled with the true magic of Christmas. A magic that comes from the generosity of strangers and the love of a Savior.

So, thank you, whoever you are, for sharing your love and bringing us so much joy this year.

Merry Christmas!

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