My family and I watched “The Santa Clause” tonight – an annual holiday tradition (along with “Elf,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Love Actually,” and a few others). There’s a scene towards the end where the skeptics realize that Tim Allen’s character – the new Santa Clause – is “really” real. He’s Santa, and the wonder of the realization completely transforms the expression of the other characters.
Even though I’ve seen the movie a half dozen times, the moment still catches that part of me that wants to believe in Santa, or magic, or Christmas spirit – whatever that might be. My eyes well up, I get a warm tingly feeling in my chest, and somehow I just feel more awesome and alive than I did even a few minutes earlier. Perhaps that feeling is available all the time, but it seems to get through just a little more at this time of year.
I look back at the holiday season – the good, bad, and ugly – and am struck by how much the good has outweighed all of the rest. Yes, there have been plenty of awkward, tense, and disappointing moments. Of course there have. But the overwhelming sense I have is of the awesomeness of it all – visiting the tree lot with my family, driving streets covered in lights, my dad pointing out a little red light in the sky convincing us it’s Rudolph’s nose – and how these moments have always been about the people and experiences rather than gifts or money.
My wish for you this holiday season is to experience at least one moment of real holiday magic between now and the end of the year. Watch your favorite movies. Hang out with your favorite people. Eat your favorite foods. Do things you love to do (or used to love to do). The stress of the world isn’t going anywhere, so let it go for a while and let yourself be moved instead. Somehow, I have to believe that getting back in touch with the magic will make everything else in your life just a little bit better as well.