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Monday, December 19, 2016

The Magic of Christmas

According to my parents, when I was young on Christmas morning I'd run to the room where our Christmas tree was, and then I'd stop and just stare at the tree and the presents beneath it, taking it all in, wanting Christmas to last year round. My memories of those early Christmases are somewhat vague, but I do remember them as being magical, and I've seen those same feelings of magic in the eyes of my own children and in the children of others.

That's probably why I resist joining the annual chorus of those who deride the commercialization of Christmas. To be sure, the Christmas season does seem to start a little bit earlier every year, and the number of Christmas albums and Hallmark movies are proliferating at an alarming rate, but when I hear one of my favorite Christmas songs, see people putting up their Christmas lights, or when we make our annual trip to cut down the family's Christmas tree, that old magic is rekindled. And I love it. I always will. And I don't think I'm alone.

Moreover, I think most of us don't confuse the commercialized Christmas that we watch on TV, hear on the radio, and see in the stores with the story of the baby in a manger who was visited by shepherds. We know the difference. We can separate the two, just as we can separate visiting a bustling mall from attending a solemn Christmas Eve service.

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