I grew up in New York City. Even though Christmas in New York was as magical as a place can get, the rest of the year was so "real" it sometimes hurt. Magic was the last word I would have used to describe it. Once I was old enough to understand terms like "Wall Street," and, "Madison Avenue," I turned in my I-Believe-In-Magic button and entered The Real World.
Fast forward about 30 years. I'm living in the country, in a small town where magic is everywhere, everyday, if we just look for it. I see it in the changing of the seasons up close and personal. I see it in the antics of squirrels, birds, rabbits, otters and other members of my extended family. I see it in the sap from the maple trees as it drips into the metal pail at the end of winter and the first pussy willows that burst forth to announce the coming of spring. I take my grandchildren for walks in the woods to look for fairies and go on adventures. I see magic everywhere.
This Christmas I celebrate the magic of my first great-grandson and the knowledge that his being here in my life is the result of thousands of ancestors who loved, and that is magical all by itself. As I look up at the stars on a frigid winter night they seem all the brighter for the cold, and the glow of the moon bathes me in peace. This, too, is magic.
I see magic everywhere I look. The key to seeing magic, I've found, is to actually look for it. Look for it in the first snowflake that touches you when you walk out the door, or the first chirp outside your window. Look for it in the first cloud of your breath as it meets the cold air, or in the gaze of your cat (or dog) when they look up at you with unconditional love.
So this is my gift to all of you this year ... I'm giving you a key of your own to find the magic that is all around you as well. All you have to do is believe it will be there, and you will find it. If you need a little help at first, just pretend you're 5 years old again.
Merry Christmas. And so it is.