By Sylvia Hubilla
Round Rock, Texas
Going back, after the thrill and joy of Christmases of my childhood, the season was just a series of hectic shopping and ticking off my gift list for 17 or so years. There was no hushed anticipation, no thrill, or magic to it at all. The magic was gone!
Until – my precious babies came! Then, it was like a door opened…. and the magic, the joy, the thrill and anticipation came rushing back along with them! I threw myself into planning, decorating, secretly shopping and reading the letters to Santa. And my co-conspirator answered the letters, making sure the handwriting was just magically correct! Oh those were irreplaceable, indescribable, literally “MERRY and JOYFUL” Christmases!
Then came the empty nest. Christmases just came and went. With sporadic, short surprises of packages in the mail. How I longed for the Magic of Christmases past. I wondered if I will ever see it again.
And then baby Xavi came – my first grandchild! But so far away in The Hague, in the Netherlands! Still, there was a flicker of what used to be. I felt hopeful. I looked forward to precious pictures in the mail. And thank heavens for technology, I was soon printing photos from my email. Sadly though, I wasn’t able to enjoy Christmas with my Xavi. I had to content myself with mailing my gifts to him and not enjoy looking into his face and see his smile.
Then Maite came, and Rocco. From California. came Gianina, and Nicco, and from Arizona, Ariana. Before I knew it, I had six grandchildren! I realized, I have to get my act together. Get back to the task of getting the Magic of Christmas back!
Here I am now, wrapping gifts, ticking off names on my “favorites” list. Moving Xavi and Maite now to the “Teens” section on my list. Oh, I should remember to put the sign out on my bedroom door – OFF LIMITS TO GRANDKIDS! I can barely move around the boxes and ribbons and wrappers in my tiny room. But I am not complaining. In case you haven’t noticed – I have found the MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS! It’s back, and I am basking in it; relishing, memorizing every precious minute of it. Merry Christmas to all!
It was difficult to write this with joy. I remember Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, and the images especially of the little angels are forever ingrained in my heart and I cannot shake them off. Let us always pray for them, and most especially the heartbroken parents and grandparents, to give them strength, and hope, that they too, will someday, find the Magic of Christmas again.