When I was growing up as a kid, Christmas was a special time. The magic of the day started months before the actual date. The thoughts of colorful presents under the tree would start appearing in my mind in early October.
It wasn’t to hard to imagine a new bike, the latest toy, or something advertised on TV having a significant presence under that Christmas tree. But there was something different about our holiday celebrations that my sister and I had that no other kid in the neighborhood would experience on that magical day.
We had a Dad that made Christmas an exciting event and we were center stage. On Christmas night, we would have to go to bed early… and then the magic began. My Dad would wrap our packages in plain brown wrapping paper. The kind used by businesses in their shipping departments.
Once the packages were wrapped he would take chalk and markers and draw wonderful pictures on the brown canvases. He sometimes would caricature my sister and I, other times it would be Santa and his elves. Our names would be prominently displayed in colorful chalk calligraphy.
What joy it was to poke our heads around the door on Christmas morning and see the personalized gifts. He would also create gifts for our Mom, and the whole room was lit up with unique magic of a master artist.
I don’t remember much of what was in those packages so many years ago, but I do remember the packaging and the love our dad expressed to each one of us. Christmas was truly a special day.
Later in the day Dad would usually make a long distance phone call to his sisters in Ohio. Even though that call would cost a fortune, it was important for him to have us kids say Hi to our relatives many states away.
Dad passed away a few years ago and Christmas is not quite the same. His humor and creative sense of joy are now in Heaven for all the inhabitants to enjoy. We all miss you Dad!
Maybe this Christmas it might be time to start a new tradition. To personalize a gift, to call a far distant relative, or to thank a parent or family member for the magic they bring to your life. Simple and personal, make this a special day to remember.
Merry Christmas Everyone!