When magic lived in our hearts...and Santa knew what we REALLY wanted...


I am working hard these days putting together my third book- a compilation of all of my monthly columns that I so joyfully wrote for our local newspaper. I am re-reading them and enjoying every minute- even if now and then I cry a little. 

I thought I would share my December columns here, so that some of you might get a chuckle or two. 


When I was nine years old, I won the life-sized stocking that was in the window of Cowdrick’s Drug Store in downtown Clearfield.    It sat in the display window of the shop and each time I walked past it while walking to my dad’s office I would PRAY that I would win it.   I was stunned when I received the phone call the day before Christmas!  Never mind that it was stuffed with 20-cent plastic toys and tons of candy, it was LIFE SIZED!  I felt as if I was floating on air as my whole family got into the car to go downtown to claim the prize.  I was SURE that some greater being had a hand in my winning.  Honestly, I am still shocked by it, and it is with a big grin on my face that I recall this lovely memory.  I think that many warm memories of the holidays are the ones that are magical.  

I still remember when I believed in magic, do you?  Magic, when I was little, was when the tooth fairy remembered there was a tooth under my pillow and left me a shiny quarter.  Magic happened on balmy summer evenings on Lemon Road, when the fireflies lit up the backyard and we captured it in mason jars.  Magic happened on Christmas morning when, under the tree, was the handy dandy nifty disguise kit I so DESPERATELY hoped Santa would bring.  I hadn’t told ANYONE except Santa in the letter I wrote under my covers one night while writing with my Underdog flashlight.  I placed the note in our outgoing mailbox when my mother and father weren’t looking.  I remember that kind of magic that filled your heart with wonder and joy. That wonder and joy are what surround me every day when I am here at school.  

As we know, “Most grownups don’t believe in magic. It just, sort of, grows OUT of them. “  That’s what Judy the elf told Scott Calvin, in the Santa Clause (a CLASSIC, people) when he stated that he stopped believing in Santa a long time ago.  Well, I’m here to tell you that Santa is alive and well and greatly anticipated by most of the children in Room 120 in Park Forest Elementary school.  We seem to end up discussing Christmas and Hanukkah every day these last two weeks leading up to the holidays.  (I have one fellow who officially celebrates Hanukah; three who SAY they do, and one kiddo who says he doesn’t celebrate either of those.  He celebrates presents.)  This is ALL that the children are thinking about.  

“You know, Santa has turbo reindeer that take him all over the world. “

“No, it’s special fairy dust that he puts on the reindeer, and it makes them go fast.”

“He uses a magic whip to get them to go fast!”

“Hey, I saw that whip under my mom’s bed!”

“No, the reindeer have special magic flying dust! Santa sprinkles it on them and they,,,,,”

“It’s magic BEANS!  They eat magic beans!”

“Hey, I had beans last night…”

“Hey, I know the bean song.  Beans, beans, the magical..”

“STOP!! STOP!!” 

And with that sleight of tongue, I maneuvered our conversation back to where we had started.   

As I look forward to the holidays this year, I am reminded of all the magical, enchanted Christmases I spent as a child, and am thankful for the magic that is alive and well in my own heart. 

No matter what you celebrate or what you believe, I think the most important thing to hold close to your heart is the belief, deep in your soul, that magic IS real.    And, as we say in the Patrick house, if you don’t believe, you don’t receive….

No comments: