Uncommon Sense: The magic of Christmas

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Some people say the magic ends when you come to learn the dark truth about Santa Claus and realize there isn’t some beneficent old man manufacturing toys in the polar cap’s winter darkness.

It can be disappointing to later flip over your Santa-delivered toy and realize it was stamped out in China at 10 cents a unit and marked up by 1,000 per cent at the mall where mom and dad bought it.

Speaking of malls, you might feel the fool for having told all those Santas with the clip-on beards and pregnancy pillows your materialistic wishes in the belief you were getting an exclusive with the big man.

And then there was the waiting and wondering on Christmas night, when you strained to hear the sleigh bells or pitter patter of rooftop ungulates patiently waiting for the next delivery.

You’d wake up in the morning after having failed to catch him in the act and your stocking would be stuffed full of surprises! And when you’re at an age when the number 100 may as well be 100 million, you’re not skeptical he was able to circumnavigate the globe, passing through 24 time zones, and 200 nations in that time.

Does Santa visit the Republic of Vanuatu, too? I’m sure that he does, sweetie. Now open your presents.

Yes, the magic of Santa might be gone now that you’re all grown up, but that doesn’t mean the magic of Christmas has to disappear.

For me, the most magical part of Christmas begins late on the eve of Dec. 24. The mad commercial rush is over and every last-minute shopper has gone home with either their hasty present or their guilty shame.

A quiet descends over the neighbourhood, over the town, over the entire country. The streets are empty. Families are together.

The magical part is that everybody stops the madness and insanity that is everyday life for a good 24 hours and, like air escaping a balloon, decompresses, relaxes, and simply enjoys the moment.

There is a peaceful hue that surrounds us and for a brief time we forget about work, we forget about the news, we forget about the banality of sports, and we remember why we’re really here.

We remember, beyond the great social construct that is our post-industrial 21st Century iCivilization, that what truly matters hasn’t changed since the dawn of intelligent life on Earth: Family, love, and friendship.

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