Christmas Magic

Santa has been here, and an excited little boy will find gifts waiting for him in the living room in a few short hours. If the cats don’t destroy them, since they apparently find the smell of new rubber from Daniel’s bike tires intoxicating!

I am going to bed with a very full heart. In fact, I almost feel like I need to cry. From happiness. From nostalgia. From excitement. My emotions are a pressure valve that needs release.

We’ve had a great day, and we are confident that our little elf went to bed quivering with excitement about Santa’s impending arrival and beginning to understand a bit about the magic we are trying to impart to him: jingling bells suddenly sounding must mean Santa is approaching! A star for his Advent tree appearing from nowhere! Seeing Daniel take all of this in and peek outside the window to see if he could see Santa was thrilling.

These are the things we dreamed of seeing and experiencing for years and seeing them is so very sweet.

I’ve also been banishing some “shoulds.” Life has been a series of dashes lately, and I’m learning it is better to spend my energy where it matters most. Our Christmas prep & decor were haphazard at best. It took us weeks to have tree ready to decorate and once it was, I had an eager helper who liked to layer ornaments three deep along the bottom third. The external lights are all slightly different colors. I didn’t get around to sending cards. And perhaps most shockingly, we didn’t have a fancy Christmas Eve dinner and won’t have one tomorrow either.

I chafed a bit at not cooking. I felt that having a nice, special dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas was required. But Jimmy felt like doing something simple, and the more I thought about it, the more I agreed. What did I want my memories of Christmas Eve and Christmas to be? Of a meal I slaved over that tasted great for 20 minutes but took hours to prepare? Or a great day with my guys? I chose the latter.

Today we made reindeer food (enough to feed an army of reindeer). Daniel got to use wrapping paper in his garbage trucks (his dream). Our dinner consisted of pizza eaten in front of the TV, watching old-school Rudolph. Low- key and perfect. I didn’t go into Santa mode feeling exhausted & worn out. We had a great, calm evening. Later I retucked my little boy, telling him how my beloved grandfather used to call and give me Santa updates when I was a little girl (because we didn’t have that newfangled Internet and Santa Trackers!). Generational lines continued.

I could tell myself I half-assed the holidays this year, but that’s untrue. Just who am I trying to impress? What am I trying to prove? My tree and exterior lights aren’t perfect – so what? Who cares? I didn’t make a 3-course meal. So what? My little boy enjoyed his pizza in front of the TV and most importantly, a calm & present mommy.

I love Christmas and its magic. I can’t wait to see Daniel’s face when he sees his gifts. I love making magic for him.

I may half-ass some things, but we make magic like experts.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!


Of Pharaohs and Sphinxes

There’s a tiny bit of magic in my office.

My office, my job are mundane.  I am your typical office worker in your typical office.  My office is messy more often than not because I am a dedicated pile maker, and I hate to file.  Most of my day is spent in front of my gigantic monitor, coding or researching until my eyes cross.  Occasionally I attend a meeting.  Most of my brain power is spent taking a concept and dissecting it in order to figure out its essential components.  Though what I do may seem incomprehensible and mysterious to some, it isn’t to me.  There is nothing especially magical about my job.

But I’ve found a little bit of magic in a bottle.

(No, not that kind of bottle)

This tiny bottle.

Like sand through the hour glass...

Yes, yes, this bottle does contain sand, but it’s not just any ol’ sand.  This sand came from Egypt.  Truly.  One of our student workers spent her Spring Break visiting family in Egypt. Lucky minx.  I think the most exotic place I ever spent Spring Break was Myrtle Beach.  Myrtle Beach is many things, but exotic is not one of them.  Before she left, I jokingly asked her to bring back some sand.  On Monday she surprised us by giving us these little bottles filled with sand that she collected from the sand around the pyramids.


I look at the bottle, and I’m transported.  I see thin white cotton outfits.  Blazing suns.  Camels.  Cleopatra rolling out of a carpet at the feet of Caesar. Pyramids so magnificent and perfect that you sort of start believing those alien conspiracy theories because could man have created something so perfect? I see tombs and sarcophagi and jars containing brains, hearts and other treasures needed in the after world.   I see a giant cat with a human face and remember reading that if you put your ear up to it, you might learn a secret. Hieroglyphics and wildly inappropriate phallic drawings (too much History Channel).

Some places have history while some places are history.  Egypt is the latter for me.  A coworker remarked, “we might have sand that Moses walked in.”  I know that is highly doubtful, but it tickles my imagination to speculate. If we could somehow analyze these grains of sand, what story would they tell?  What history has been burned into them?

Now, when my brain starts to hurt and I need to take a break, I turn to look at my little bottle of sand.

Just a little magic in an otherwise ordinary life.