In following the challenge, I add this quote. It also reflects my concern about having a mission here on Earth.
“We did not come here to be common. We did not travel this great distance to give up, give in, and lie down. We came here to wake up and be joyful; to stand up and be powerful; to open up our hearts, our minds and our eyes as we expand our knowledge and our perception. You are extraordinary and you are powerful beyond belief!”
~Heather K. O’Hara
Children are such amazing creatures. I was not blessed with my own. I am not going to write a depressing saga about that today. I want to share my experience with a tradition of three years and an honor I walked into to. I get to play Mrs. Santa Claus. I was part of the event committee that puts on the event for all the employees and their families. It is a lot of fun. Every year it reminds me to be hopeful and joyful. Children are so naturally pessimistic until it becomes dashed at the hands of evil. Some would say that it is called growing up. I think, somewhere in all of us, is the child who is still hopeful.
Christmas to me was never about getting gifts. There were five of us and I came at the end of the line at a time where my parent’s wealth was gone. My father and mother had begun their fall into their first bankruptcy soon after I came on the scene. I can remember my mother sharing that she allotted only $25.00 to each child. Back then, it bought a lot more. I remember two gifts the most. One was a little plastic organ, call Enenee table top organ. This was the introduction to my love of music. I was reading music in kindergarten. The other gift was a wooden bucket with my name stenciled on it. Inside was a brand new box of 64 crayons. They were all mine. I had that bucket for years. Neither was expensive but offered the world of creativity to me.
This season is a melting pot of emotions and memories. It is about the beauty of the lights and decorations. It is about the sounds of music, chorales and bells. It is about history and shared moments. It is about forbidden foods and treats. But mostly, it is about the magick. It is about the hope that things will be safe and full of love. It is a time of forgiveness and charity. I learned at a very early age that this is the time of the year where everyone can be kind and vulnerable and it is ok. I think I treasure this the most. To me, that is the magick. In the spectacular of the façade of glitter, deep down, human kindness surfaces, even if for only a short time. It is the time of the child, for all ages. We hope and pray for goodness and joy to be part of our daily lives, and I think that this time allows for healing.
My role as Mrs. Claus is to ask the parents the name of the children and then if there is a special gift they want. I then go up to Mr. Claus and whisper the information before the child approaches. Some parents do not have a clue what their child wants. That is sad. Some children are precocious and come with a list. I know that some will say this fosters greed. But it is not the child’s fault. I do not feel the need to explain how we have created this Christmas monster.
The children react to Santa with mixed emotions. We have the ones that cry and then we have the ones who keep going back for a repeat visit. One little girl who was very nervous had her back to Santa. I had already told him her name and wish, but she was reluctant to approach. Instead, she was eyeballing the cookies and milk we were serving. I was facing her. Santa called her name from across the room and her eyes turned to saucers. It was fantastic. He then said something about her wish and I thought she would swoon. She went over, not afraid anymore, but filled with wonder and delight.
There are a couple of kids who have said to their parents they know this is the real Santa. They are bombarded with imposters at the malls and other places. What validates this Santa is that Mrs. Claus is there and that he knows them. There is one very sweet little doll who insists on having her picture with me. The day ends with the last family of five. There are twins, a boy and a girl, who are now about seven. She is in love with Mrs. Claus and needs some serious time with me in an embrace. It makes my whole day.
There are many components to this holiday season. I do not care what religion you practice because I think that it is only a piece of it. I also understand that this season can make people very depressed and I have spent some pretty bleak ones myself. But I am choosing to find magick in my life and it is so easy if you look. Find the child still in you and enjoy.