I not only shared a room with my sister until I was in seventh grade, but we also shared a bed. I’m sure most times, Rachel HATED it, but I actually really liked it. I always had someone I could reach out and touch if I got scared, which was a lot because I had, and still have, a very vivid imagination. Rachel did, too. We would stay up way late into the night playing Barbie’s or Quints, and Rachel would tell me what the theme of the playtime was. “Imagine that we are in the middle of the ocean, and this bed is all we have!” or “Imagine that we are in the middle of the woods, and this bed is all we have!” (No idea why we would have a bed in either of those places, and why that was the means to our survival, but it worked.) I have pictures of myself that my parents took of us and we are pregnant with CareBears, but had fallen asleep with them only half out of our night gowns. Apparently stuffed animal birth was exhausting. We were really magical kids, full of our pretends, imagines, and wonders. It’s really no surprise. When my mom would read us our bedtime stories, she would do the voices in full dramatic character. If you closed your eyes, you could see yourself in the story with the characters. Uncle Remus himself could’t even pull off the Southern drawl along with pitch and speed she would put to the voices of Brer Fox, Brer Bear, and Brer Rabbit as she would read one of my favorites, The Tar Baby.
As most people grow up, they somehow convince themselves that magic is no longer cool. I don’t know if it is the culture, the focus on “real” topics like math and science in school instead of more creative courses, or just simply that we become jaded the more we learn about life, but the spark fades. Many storybooks talk about it, like Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, or The Polar Express. There’s the age that you just wake up and the world is no longer a place where dreams are just a daydream away from being your reality. This thought always has been depressing to me. Why can’t adults feel the magic, too?
I think that at Christmas-time, most adults at least let themselves partially fall back into the magic. This is one of the reasons why I love this season, and the month of December is my favorite time of the year. This is why I feel at least a little more comfortable making this confession. I still believe in magic. I feel it in my tummy when I walk through the gates of Disneyland. I hear it when I listen to musicals, because, well, wouldn’t life be a lot more magical if we all broke out in unison, belting and dancing our hearts out? I smell it when I walk into a store in October, and they have the cinnamon pine cones, welcoming holiday season. This is why I stubbornly still love princess movies, and hate all things scary and spooky. I still tell myself bedtime stories in my head to fall asleep. I often play pretend with myself, when I’m doing a menial task or something that I just simply don’t want to do, but must. This is why I love whimsy and nonsense, and try to notice the little, strange things that make life interesting around me. This magic has brought me a lot of happiness when nothing else has seemed to work, so I think it’s good for me. And lest anyone is getting ready to call the loony-bin to come and take me away, I do still know how to check out of imagination-land and back into the real world as I need. This magic gets me through the hard things in life when nothing else will. It helps me be kinder, more thoughtful, more passionate and compassionate. It helps me have hope.
So, I guess my point is, with the holidays upon us, I hope we can all participate in magic. Dream that the impossible can happen. Suspend reality a little bit, to something brighter, more colorful and happy. I think it simply makes the world a more joyful place. Just close your eyes, make a wish, and count to three…