By: Heather Blanchard
“Find out where joy resides and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
December is here and we are officially in full swing of the busiest holiday season of the year. We all know the song “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”….right? Yet for so many people this month is full of high emotions and stress. Between increased social events, buying gifts, decorating, baking and family gatherings on top of our overly-busy lives, it can be a really hectic time rather than one of joy. On top of that, many people are affected by the short, cold, dreary days of winter, challenging family relationships and missing lost loved ones. So it’s important to slow down, tap into the joy of the season and experience the magic in it – just like you did as a child.
When one of our daughters was in a Christmas play at school several years ago, she kept telling us she was the star of the show. We knew she had a small part but didn’t know exactly what it was as the staff wanted each role to be a surprise for parents. So, whenever she practiced lines at home we gently reminded her she was part of a big group working together, and assured her she would be great. On the night of the play, our family packed into the car to go see her. The young school band was playing a bit off key, the audience was full of smiles, and there were both bold and shy performers on stage. Finally our daughter Lauren made an appearance, and to our surprise, she was literally a star! Her face was peeking through a small hole in a huge, gold cardboard star, dancing and singing on stage. It was the perfect reminder for me, who was caught up in the Christmas hustle, to sit back and enjoy everything our children were doing and seeing. The decorations, sweet treats, music, performances, movies, and anticipation of Santa delivering presents under the tree. It was time to relish my beautiful family and get into the spirit.
It may not be everyone’s favorite season, but it is a season of contagious excitement in children, of twinkling lights, of gatherings with family and friends, and jolly music. It is also a season of giving, and time to be an angel to those who need the most while taking gratitude for all that we have. As I get older, I am more certain the world would be a far happier place if we tapped into the magic around us. We spend so much time in our youth trying to grow up, be mature, be responsible and successful. But adulting is hard – with long to-do lists and never-ending responsibilities. And along the way, we forget the magic we saw everywhere as a child. We trade wonder for logic and responsibility, and try to focus on being grounded.
So from this season forward, try to notice the joy and magic that exists everywhere – in a falling star, a chance encounter, in nature, in a great book or song, in a wish, or an instant connection to someone or something.
“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic, in the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, or works of art; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, just when we think we’re alone. – Charles de Lint
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