Where is the magic of bygone Christmasses? The fairy dust that splashed us with awe? The long winter days that found us sledding, playing board games and sucking the juice from cool fresh oranges through a Red Bird peppermint stick? The packages that screamed to be opened? The smell of country ham frying on the stove for breakfast and turkey roasting in the oven for dinner? The crushing sound of walnuts, almonds, and pecans being cracked open by an old fashioned set of nut crackers? Where did it all go?

I find that I almost dread the Christmas holiday. It is so much work and worry. There’s decorating to do, shopping, wrapping, cooking, event planning and attending, grave adorning, (you wouldn’t want your ancestors to be the only ones without a wreath on Christmas!), and it generally falls to the women to do all of this while the men, usually, sit back with their oranges and nuts! There are cards to be addressed, runs to the post office, stockings to be filled, and pictures to be taken to commemorate this occasion. This usually also falls to the women. As women, are we destined to lose the magic that Christmas once promised? My schedule is so hectic at this time of year that all of the things I use to love about it have been squeezed out. Things like The Nutcracker Ballet, the NC Symphony, tours of holiday homes, the Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte, NC, the light displays at Tanglewood and McCaddenville. I even miss Christmas caroling! Who has time for these things when there is so much work to be done? Maybe I’m also missing grandparents and their traditions and the innocent childhood beliefs of my adult son, or the things I did for others when it really meant something important such as taking firewood to elderly people who needed it and baskets of seasonal treats to shut-ins. Is it possible to make our own magic happen? I’m working on that. I’ll let you know if I’m successful or not. Right now I’ve got to prepare dinner, wrap some gifts for a function tomorrow, bake some cookies and mend a tombstone wreath that high winds shredded.

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