“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost nipping at your nose.” Those lines from the old Christmas classic sung by Nat King Cole always bring back childhood memories of the magic of Christmas. Every year about this time my dad would hang the Christmas lights on our house; my mom would pull out the ornaments and tinsel for the tree; and my siblings and I would dream of a White Christmas and start counting down the days till Christmas.
Then on Christmas Eve we’d gather at my Great Aunt Mabel’s farm with all kinds of aunts and uncles I never remember seeing except for this one night of the year. There’d be laughter, music and cousins. There’d be cheese plates and cider and my Aunt Nancy’s gourmet candies. And in the middle of it all was the Christmas tree: a snow-flocked spectacle covered in blue lights. And under the tree there were the Christmas presents all silver and gold, just waiting to be opened when the clock hit 10.
The funny thing is that I don’t ever remember opening any gifts on Christmas Eve, although I know we did. I just remember the magic of it all. How everything just made you feel giddy, happy, excited and warm all at the same time. I imagine you have similar memories of your childhood Christmases. A time when life was simpler and just being with your family and drinking a cup of cocoa near a roaring fire made you feel like all was right in the world.
I also imagine that the magic of Christmas is something that eludes us as adults. Oh, we get tastes of it now and then when we experience Christmas anew through the eyes of children. But that warm feeling of wonder when everything stops and you know all is right in the world…well that experience of “Christmas magic” isn’t necessarily guaranteed by surrounding ourselves with all the tinsel and trappings of a childhood memory.
No, the magic of Christmas isn’t found in chestnuts roasting or Christmas lights twinkling. Nor is it found in the mulled wine simmering or the fireplace crackling. As much as these might warm our hearts for the moment, these don’t give our hearts what we long for the most. For what our hearts long for is what God’s angels declared that first Christmas when they said, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to those on whom His favor rests.” You see, the real magic of Christmas isn’t simply a warm feeling of wonder. No, the real magic of Christmas is the miracle of Christmas. For on this day God came to be with us and to bring us peace.
Perhaps it’s time we took a fresh look at the baby born to us this day. After all, if the angels declared that he is the One to bring peace on earth and good will to men, maybe we should let him be the one to rekindle the magic of Christmas for us. So won’t you join us on December 20 as we celebrate the miracle of Christmas at Rock Springs. And may God bless and give you His peace this Christmas.