Mamacita says: James and Lily Potter weren’t the only parents who knew about magic, you know. I love to imagine Christmas at the Burrow, also; Molly and Arthur Weasley, poor as they were, must have given their large family a wonderland of inexpensive dreams-come-true. Hogwarts gave its students a magical Christmas experience, too, as all good teachers and schools do used to do. Authority figures owe it to children to do so.
Parents owe their children some magic. It shouldn’t be an option. Children need magic, and parents can give it to them with not much effort at all.
Parents are magic, you know. ALL parents can do it if they try. We have, in our fingertips and in our heads and in all those old boxes, the power to transform ordinary things into things of magic and wonder. We have the power to transform an ordinary day into a Holiday. There is more than tinsel and glass and molded Hallmark treasures in those boxes. There are memories, stored in those boxes. There is each child’s First Christmas, in those boxes. There is the Christmas we were all too sick to go to Grandma’s, so we had to stay home and entertain each other. There is an ornament from the Christmas of the Emergency Room visit. There are ornaments made of styrofoam and glue and glitter. There is the ornament someone bought in the Chicago airport, just because it caught his eye and he thought someone else might like it. There is the ornament a little girl used to lie under the tree and watch, JUST IN CASE the elves would peek out the window of it and wave at her. There is the ornament with sad eyes that a little boy worried about, year after year, and which must be hung in exactly the same spot on the tree – and low, because it’s really, really heavy. I have a Christmas angel made out of a torn purple pillow case and a toilet paper tube, and a piece of that same pillow case with “Oh come holy spit” written on it in black magic marker. It’s worth more to me than anything in Tiffany’s. Erma Bombeck had one, too; when I read about hers I felt kinship! There are ornaments from friends, and ornaments found at yard sales and flea markets. Every ornament on our tree has a history. I know where and when everything on that tree was purchased, or made, or given. A real Christmas fanatic can tell you the circumstances under which almost any ornament on that tree was obtained.
I can look at my tree and see more than just a beautiful twinkling tree. I look at my Christmas tree and I can see all the years of my family’s life, represented on the branches.
I can remember, as a child, sitting on the floor and just staring at our tree. It was almost beyond my comprehension that our house could contain such glowing wonder. It was like magic. My mother created magic, in our house. How did she do it? I still don’t know. I only know that I have tried to create that same magic in my house, for my children, and I hope I have succeeded.
Why do I work so hard, harder even than Clark Griswold, to try and create a magical Christmas? The answer is easy. “Because.”
Power. Parents have power to change a mundane day into a day of wonder. Our children’s memories depend on our willingness to use that power.
Sometimes we are so physically exhausted that it’s difficult to put out the effort. Don’t ever let yourself get caught in that trap. Once you start, it’s easy to continue.
Your children are worth the time. And so are you. Get up from that chair, get those boxes down from wherever they’re stored, and get busy. Make magic for your children.
Otherwise, they won’t know how to make magic for their own children.
Oh, and if you’re one of those parents who doesn’t believe in magic? I hope your children can overcome that, and believe anyway.
Bring it on.