Christmas is coming, and the supply chains are whack.  Please think outside the box before you wrap. If you can’t find the perfect thing for under the tree, give an experience and memory.

Christmas can be such a magical time for families and friends. What’s trending this year is gifting experiences.  Instead of a sweater, give a gift card for a pedicure.  Organize a yearly family game night.  Plan a walk at the park with your bestie.  Make a coffee date with your college roommate.  Hire a sitter for a date night, and tip them well. Share a book you enjoyed. You get it.   Be simple; give yourself your time, gratitude, and thoughtfulness.  Those are the best gifts to give and receive.

My mother has always been the magician extraordinaire when it comes to decorating, giving, and creating the most special occasions.  She brings Christmas to life.

As a child, we’d spend outdoor time as a family over Christmas break.  There were times of chopping and stacking wood together to heat our home, watching my mom decorate the tree with miniature wreaths she made from braiding bailing twine, and some years, going out of town together.  As a young child, I was so concerned about how Santa would find my brother and me in those years.  My mom decorated our home before we left and schlepped decorations to our destinations to set the scene and bring the magic to wherever we laid our heads.  Christmas mornings were full of love and family gifts only, you know because Santa didn’t know where we were.  We never lacked any experience because of my mother’s masterful planning.  Before returning home, my mother arranged for a neighbor to stuff stockings and put pressies under the tree, so we knew Santa remembered us.  It wasn’t about the gifts; it was about the magic my mother made for her family.  I still believe in Santa. 

This year, I hope to continue the magic for my children who are just old enough to understand the meaning of Christmas. 

And we will end where we began:

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’ penny will do. If you haven’t got a ha’ penny, then God bless you.”

My family would sing that together outdoors, in around.  It was goofy and so fun to keep that family rhythm.  I can still hear my father belting the baritone line and how it echoed through the crisp air like a church organ: memories and magic. 

I am wishing you and yours a peaceful, grateful and magical Christmas.  

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