I used to spend a lot of time obsessing about people’s perceptions of me. I don’t so much anymore. After years of letting it hold me back I finally decided that how I want to feel is way more important than what other people think.
Since, more than anything, I want to feel like me, it means I actually have to share the (seemingly) crazy, (admittedly) unique thoughts that often go through my head—even (or maybe especially) the ones that have the potential to be met with copious amounts of eye rolling, kinda like this one…
I still believe in Santa Claus.
Yup, I really do.
And in case you’re wondering… yes, I have stayed up late on Christmas Eve waiting for the soft sounds of sleeping children so I could tiptoe over and fill the stockings (cursing myself all the while for not remembering to take the tiny treasures out of those damn crinkly shopping bags).
And yes, I’ve had to look an eight-year-old in the eye while having “the talk”—you know the one where you have to admit that you’re the tippy-toe-traipsing, tiny-treasure-toting one who filled their stocking all those years.
So no, I’m not delusional.
I get that no husky, happy dude is about to shimmy down my chimney, but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in Santa—I just believe in a different version of Santa.
I believe in the magic of Santa—in the essence of Santa—in the energy that swirls around and infects people at this time of year. (And just to be clear Santa magic—like all magic—is non-denominational, it’s not reserved for only those that celebrate Christmas).
Have you ever felt the urge to give a little extra at Christmas? Maybe to a charity or even just to those you love—enchanted by the glow of giving—the ability to bestow happiness or create comfort for someone else. It’s an energy that somehow seems to get mega-amplified around the holidays.
I believe that amplified energy is Santa magic.
Sometimes it really is as subtle as an increased urge to give—small and precious like a tiny star blinking at the top of a tree. Other times it’s a little more flashing-billboard-esque.
In the fall of 2003 my sweetheart Chris and I bought a marina on the rocky shores of Georgian Bay—a few hours north of Toronto and a million miles away from the place I called home. People thought we were crazy, but as recent film industry refugees we needed to find a new way to make a living. After 9-11 nobody was venturing far from home and that meant the big Hollywood films (along with their big Hollywood budgets) weren’t coming north any time soon. We needed to make a change.
And change we did. We’d been living in Vancouver, in a beautiful apartment overlooking English Bay and the majestic North Shore mountains and now we were living in a glorified storage room above our newly acquired marina. We’d traded our rainy days for snowy nights spent watching the glittery white stuff sift its way through the cracks in our ceiling.
By the time December rolled in Chris had somehow managed to transform our bleak surroundings into a cozy little loft—complete with bedrooms, bathrooms and a roof that was actually sealed to the outside world.
But even that minor miracle did nothing to kindle my Christmas spirit.
We were beyond broke, months of living off credit cards (coupled with Chris’ prolonged divorce) had left us with our own majestic mountain—of debt. Not to mention this was going to be the first Christmas I wasn’t heading home for the holidays. My Mom had just started her job as a flight attendant and as low lady on the totem poll she was guaranteed to be flying high for Christmas.
I was 30 years old and had never spent a Christmas apart from my Mom.
It didn’t help that this year marked my debut in the role of hands-on stepmother to Chris’ two sons—something none of us were prepared for—I was beyond terrified and pretty sure the fact that we had little money for gifts wasn’t going to make the season any brighter.
Then a few weeks before Christmas, Chris was talking to his dad, who told him that he had recently gotten himself a new BBQ—with his credit card points—his what now? Okay clearly we had been living under a rock because neither of us had ever heard of credit card points being used for anything other than travel (this was 15 years ago people).
We raced over and whipped out our latest statement—the upside of having your own mini mountain of credit card debt? A boatload of credit card points! It seems Santa found a way to put presents under our tree after all—even without a chimney. We managed to scrounge up enough points to buy presents for everyone on our list—including our two grateful little boys—and, shockingly, for one another.
But he wasn’t done there.
Seems I wasn’t going to be apart from my Mom that Christmas either. Somehow, in the midst of my Mom’s crazy holiday schedule, she managed to have a one night layover—in Toronto—on Christmas Eve. Just long enough for us to race down and bring her back to our new little home so we could spend Christmas morning together—which was of course, my favourite gift of all.
So, is Santa magic real?
That depends on whether or not you’re willing to open your eyes and see it. So many people have been inoculated against it—preferring to bemoan the over-commercialization and baa-humbug-ness of it all. But if you want to bring more magic into your life there is a surefire remedy to all the anti-enchanted numbness out there, and (as with most true things) the answer is surprisingly simple:
Wishing you and your loved ones a glittering, magical holiday season.
PS - Want some more magic, read this.
PPS - Know someone that could use a little magic this holiday? Send them this story or use the share button below to share the love on social media—let’s spread some Santa magic.