by Lara Gladych –
Seaside Magazine wants to live up to our slogan of being “the voice of the Saanich Peninsula,” so in every issue we’ll be asking people to answer one simple question. We’re looking for responses from all ages and across the diverse neighbourhoods that form our community.
“Where do you find the magic in Christmas?” was the question I decided upon for this month’s issue, hoping to elicit some heartening responses.
Before going out to speak to the public, I always ask the question first of myself.
I find magic in many nooks and crannies over the course of December. For example, I know that the prospect of shopping in December is sometimes not for the faint of heart, but it’s one of the things I look forward to most. I love the sounds and smells, the colours and sparkle of holiday store displays, and I’m guilty of succumbing to the marketing ploys that draw me in to all that glitters and shines with Christmas promise.
We don’t buy to excess for Christmas in our home, but I do love poring over and contemplating just the right gifts for our small family. Ultimately, it’s the look on their faces on Christmas morning that I cherish – the idea that someone I love will know that my effort was heartfelt and that I spent time and thought dedicated just to them.
Norman Vincent Peale said: “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” I see my world this way in December, and I drink in every moment of it.
“The magic in Christmas is the joy in people’s hearts … the joy you actually see in the spirit of the people and the children … and people seem to love each other a little bit more at this time of year.” This was Suz-Q.
David and Mary Anne were next to stop and share. David said: “For me it’s the Christmas lights. It’s a short answer, but there are a lot of lights.” Mary Anne said: “What comes to mind about Sidney is the sail past. It is really special.”
I spoke with mother and son, Amie and Clayton. “You’re asking the right people!” said Amie enthusiastically. “I love Christmas because it’s a time to give to other people and to do things for other people.” I turned to Clayton who nodded and added wholeheartedly: “That’s probably what I would say, too.”
I wasn’t sure that Bruce was as enthused with my question, but he did tell me that the magic for him is in having his family around. Dean and Karine agreed that there’s magic in being with family at Christmas. “I know that’s pretty simple, but I would say that’s really true,” said Karine.
Justina stopped to answer, and told me with a smile that it’s at the Victoria truck parade that she finds Christmas magic. I’m certain she’s in good company there.
John was the next passerby. Where’s the magic for him? “Well, I go to church on Christmas Eve. I’ve done it since I was a little kid and my parents used to take me.”
One of my favourite answers came from Shirley. She finds Christmas magic in her heart. She didn’t skip a single beat in responding, which made her response all the more endearing.
Bill racked up significant Christmas points when he told me – again, without missing a single beat – that he finds magic with his wife at Christmastime.
It’s with small children and her own grandchildren that Dawn experiences the magic of Christmas. Her husband, Jim, agreed and elaborated, saying: “My favourite time is when we take the grandchildren for a horse-drawn sleigh ride in the snow.”
Both Magda and Lily touched on the idea of memories, which I, too, thought about a good deal in deciding on my question for this month. Magda said there is magic for her “in the memories, in childhood memories.” Similarly, Lily said: “in the memories of my childhood. Things have changed a lot since I was a child. Now, of course, it’s missing the parents who are no longer with us. But still, the grandchildren have, not taken over, but expanded on those special feelings.”
One of the last responses I heard was one I’d never before considered. It came from Berns, who said he finds magic “in the silence.” It’s reminiscent of a beautiful quote I came across from Kevin Alan Milne, who shared the perfect words to leave you with: “Christmas magic is silent. You don’t hear it – you feel it, you know it, you believe it.”