Rediscovering the Magic of Christmas


Rediscovering the Magic of Christmas

This has always been my most favorite time of year.  The end of November to the end of December marks days out of school and off work, those family members that you haven’t seen since the last big occasion, tons of food that only tends to find its way to the table during this season.

What’s Not To Love?

From the turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy on Thanksgiving to the ham and cranberries of Christma, let us not forget the PIE!  Sweet potato, pumpkin, fruit varieties such as cherry and apple, or my favorite, chocolate pudding pie made by my grandmother, bring out the best of the season.

I love the anticipation, the mystery, the magic wrapped inside the sights, sounds, and smells.  There is so much to take in, light displays, tree decorating, gift wrapping, holiday baking, Christmas movie watching, and beloved holiday songs on repeat. 

Unfortunately, as an adult, some of that magic begins slipping away in the chaos and busyness of commercialized shopping, extravagant spending, and lists as we go through the motions. 

What has happened to Christmas?

Over the years, I look back at late Christmas Eves spent wrapping last-minute gifts well into the morning.

The panic run to the station to grab a gift for the unexpected guest. 

Lists with more wants than needs, most of what they saw on tv.   

Whos bringing guests, who contributing what and many things that truly do not make difference. 

Go on, ask your loved ones what they remember through the years of your labor, and most will likely mention a person.  They remember that person and the time spent with them, but not often a specific gift.

After all these years, I want to go back and rediscover the meaning of Christmas, the magic of the season, this year, next year, and for years to come.  

Enjoy Traditions!

Keep the little things alive by doing those that work and letting go of those that don’t.  Create wonderful stories for years to come with some timeless traditions:

  • Watch the holidays classics
  • Go to the farm and pick your perfect tree or unbox the one that you’ve enjoyed for years.  Decorate as a family.  Share the stories of your ornaments or stringing the popcorn while drinking eggnog or cocoa.
  • Plan and arrange a holiday dinner or attend one of the social gatherings that you would usually pass on.
  • Send the Christmas cards!
  • Play your favorite Christmas songs on repeat.
  • Write a letter to Santa and mail it!  Close your eyes and feel the wish you are sending off in hopes that your heart will be healed and your faith restored.

Do something that spreads love, joy, or the gift of time.

  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen for holiday dinner.  Places such as the Salvation Army serve holiday meals and lunch and supper year-round.
  • Help at a charity event such as Toys for Tots, Coats for Kids.  Also, reach out to people in your neighborhood or organize a holiday can-drive.
  • Volunteer with local programs close to home that rely on volunteers for success
  • Adopt a family through HACAP
  • Choose a person to help from a Gifting tree (retailers, hospitals) 
  • Visit a nursing home, read some Christmas stories, sing some carols, or just give comfort to anyone that needs it  (check for health precautions first!)
  • Pay it forward.  When you grab a coffee, a donut, or a number one combo at your favorite joint, drop a few extra dollars and put a smile on the face of another.

Make the Homemade Treats

It’s so easy to buy everything premade these days. The convenience is outstanding, but go ahead and pre-heat the oven, dig out the mixer and make the pies, the cookies, and all the goodies with a little love sugar and peanut butter! And then, indulge a little!

These are the Moments

Accept the unexpected!  Open the gift you didn’t know was coming.  Enjoy the company of loved ones who have so much to share. Take a twirl with your uncle when you walk past. Cherish that kiss on the cheek from your Granma and Granpa.  Enjoy this Christmas and every year after, as they change over the years but the memories will forever be with you.

In all that this season has to offer, take time to reflect – on you, your family, and your friends.  Evaluate what really matters and instead of getting lost in the chaos, find yourself in the moments.

From our house to yours, embrace the magic of the season.

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Amanda is a lifelong Cedar Rapidian along with her husband Chad and their seven daughters. She has been blessed by her littles at the ages of 21, 24, 32, 34 and again at 42. Her oldest two girls are now young adults and living their own lives, her middle girls are in their tweens and teens, and to round it all out, identical twin toddlers, four dogs and a house that is never empty.


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