Winter Chill

I think the holidays dredge up memories for all of us. Most of mine are good.
Despite my love of Halloween and all things dark and creepy I really love Christmas and this season.
Something recently made me remember something though that is a bit of a darker memory.
Call it the end of my innocence, I guess.
As I kid I believed in everything. 
I believed in ghosts – I had an invisible friend I called Ghost so you figure that one out.
I believed in the Tooth Fairy – and had a passionate letter writing affair with her until my sister clued me in to her being mom.
I believe in the Easter Bunny.
I believed in monsters – my sister and a cousin played heck with me one time the cousin was babysitting me.
I believed in a world of mystery and wonder and I believe in Santa Claus.
My family went all out for Christmas and Santa was no different.
He left notes.
He left tracks.
He left coal, as a gag.
I loved Santa because, above everything else, he represented the purity of that time in my life. Yeah, presents, sure, but magic.
Magic with no rational thought or reason but just magic.
Magic, once examined, falls into its components and while still special, it’s that chohesion that gives them meaning to us. It’s the larger picture. It’s the connection it gives you to others and even to yourself.
Magic is that thing that just IS.
We should always question, we should always probe, but we should also appreciate.
Yeah, love is a chemical reaction, a mix of sexual attraction, availability, and the opportunity to procreate.
But it’s more than that. It’s both simple and complex.
Yeah, it’s biology, but it’s something spiritual as well because chemistry pushes you together but spirtual connection can keep you together.
I remember the day my childhood died.
I was a kid around twelve. I wasn’t older but I dunno that I was much younger.
I was naive, and I suppose I still am.
I had two friends that were neighbors, living across the street. We were frienemies, as the saying goes. We hung out and were pals but there came a time when I fought with the older brother and in retrospect it’s scary how some kids and people can infiltrate your life and infect it when they should never have had access to you.
We were playing in the backyard of another neighbor, someone these brothers lived next to. It was winter and we were going out to the ice to slide around. It was the Christmas season. I can’t swear to you a date though it sems as if it was before Christmas.
The three of us were walking and all of a sudden they started talking about how there was no Santa Claus.
My mind went blank.
What?
For me, there had to be a Santa.
Even at that age.
We got presents on Christmas Day.
Not before.
My sister and I went to bed and I would get up and peek and see presents and the tree lit up and our stockings and it was magic.
I’d go to bed and get up at 5AM and get everyone up and it was Christmas!
I didn’t know mom and dad stayed up all night wrapping and putting things out.
I didn’t know that mom created the notes and trail that lead to a man that appeared from the chimney.
I dunno if I suspected anything.
Maybe.
I dunno.
But I know that for me, that moment was when childhood cracked irreparably.
The boys went on and on, talking about it, poking at me because I had believed, but it all became a bit of a gray blur.
There was no Santa.
Not a person.
Not a man.
That didn’t make Christmas any less special or magic.
It changed what the dayd was.
What it meant.
It still ws a day and time of power.
But…there was no Santa.
It doesn’t matter what anyone else says…it changed me.
It changed how I saw the world.
And that is what I am getting at.
Magic exists as long as we allow it to.
There are things that we must believe in, that we have to to save ourselves and our species.
There are Big Things that we have to believe in.
There are others though that change nothing other than the person.
But for some reason we feel a need to kill magic for one another.
We need to poo-poo everything that isn’t a part of our world view.
Sure, magic can be explained.
Everything can.
Butthose things that we hold dear and sacred should be left for us to hold dear and sacred.
Until and unless they begin to effect major things in our lives to our detriment or the detriment of others we need to allow people to have their magic.
Santa is important to kids because it fuels their imaginations.
It harbors a belief that the world is bigger than kids can imagine.
That is the cruelest turn, that we steal magic, as silly as it may seem, from children.
They will learn all about the bigger world.
They will learn all about how dark and miserable it can be.
Why force them to swallow it whole at an early age?
Imagination is the engine that drives the human race.
Magic is the fuel that runs that engine.
It is only through these things that we can see a world beyond our lives, our issues, our stressors, and beyond the worst of us.
Magic is hope.
Hope that some things don’t have explanation, need it, or warrant it.
Some things just are.
And why on earth do we want to kill hope.
….c…

Author: Chris Ringler

Writer, blogger, reviewer, artist, arts and cultural events coordinator, and semi-professional weirdo. Author of a heap of books from horror to fairy tale to kid's.

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