“I wish I still believed, Mommy,” sighed my almost-nine-year-old daughter. Ella spoke of Santa Claus. She learned the truth of St. Nick last year, but this new reality took hold only weeks ago. Her innocent eyes looked at me and my heart felt a tear in its core.
The magic floats away. And I sigh deeply.
For adults, the magic of Christmas fades too.
Instead decorating the house, trimming the tree, and baking the cookies with child-like awe, we turn into Scrooge-like beings dishing out phrases such as:
Don’t put that there!
Please don’t break priceless treasure from Grandma!
Let’s spread out those 50 ornaments you put all in one place.
No, we don’t need to have dinosaurs in the nativity.
Honey, flour is not snow.
The magic disappear, fades into the air that should be Christmas.
We lose the magic because we struggle to create the magic. But magic cannot be created. It must be believed. Trusted. Felt.
There is magic in Christmas, friends. Better still—Christmas is magic. Not the magic of fairy tales, tricks or illusions. Rather Christmas unites us to all that is truly magical about a babe born in a stable 2000 years ago. The birth of Immanuel.
His cries pierced the darkness as his momma swaddled and cooed softly in the cold. Father looking on, pacing, concerned. He was born amongst the animals and shepherds. Surrounded by the mundane, the normal. Nothing extraordinary. And yet—magical.
Immanuel breathes a human breath. God with us. It is whispered across the dark, still night. Mary and Joseph live the magic, experience the fullness. The animals sense the Creator in their midst. A perfect babe born to save an imperfect world.
The magic of Christmas cannot be found in the wrapped gifts under the tree, cookies eaten at midnight, or a jolly man with a sleigh and flying reindeer. It isn’t found in the hustle and bustle—the running to and fro. But the magic of Christmas can be revealed. It is discovered in the stillness.
We must seek out Immanuel. When we do, we will find it everywhere.
In the beautiful a capella versions of Silent Night caroled in candlelit services.
Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!” Luke 2:13-14
In the twinkling lights glowing, softening the darkness.
Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
In the worn nativity played with by a child’s hands.
Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough—because there was no room for them at the lodging place. Luke 2:7.
In the tired voices of the world He came to save.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Immanuel. He is here. With us. Around us. In our midst and waiting to be found. When we seek Him, we uncover the Magic of Christmas.