“The magic of Christmas is not in the presents, but in His presence.”

When my children were young, I played the Santa game right until the end.  When the boys stopped believing in Santa, they  pretended to believe because they didn’t want to disappoint me.  We always had a nice Christmas and I never overspent but believing in the magic was important to me.  For a time and space all negativity and stresses are put on hold as you watch the joy on a child’s face as he or she walks toward the light and believes in pure magic.    Jesus walks with families during those moments and to me it is as if Jesus and Santa work in harmony because the magic is not in the gifts but in the joy of watching and wanting loved ones to be happy.    During my childhood there were many struggles in my family – breakups, alcohol, financial and a host of other problems.  Unfortunately, there are not a lot of happy childhood memories, but somehow the magic of Christmas and His presence touched me in those early years.  No matter what the circumstances all children should feel special at Christmas and I believe it is up to us as a community to ensure that every child feels the sheer joy and magic.

A couple of years ago I was asked to write a Christmas story for our local paper – I’m sharing it here –  “Christmas Memories of a Child”

I remember waking up and looking out the window, frustrated that I fell asleep. I was determined to stay awake all night to see Santa and his reindeers.  Every Christmas Eve I stood at my bedroom window watching the night sky until exhaustion took over from my head down to my toes.   I crawled under the covers and made sure I was facing the window continuing to stare at the night sky as I willed myself to stay awake so I could finally catch a glimpse of Santa.

One particular Christmas eve  I remember waking up and  feeling the heavy weight of disappointment  because I feared Santa wouldn’t come.   That past year had been difficult for my family, my parents had gone their separate ways and I over-heard my mother telling my sister that she wasn’t sure if Santa would make it to our house that year.    The room was still very dark and I wasn’t sure of the time but looking around, listening to the silence and watching the shadows on the wall, I was certain it was the middle of the night and I wondered if Santa had been there.  I yawned and threw my arms up in the air, stretched out my body and rolled over to look out the  doorway.  It was then that I realized there was a warm glow  illuminating my room.   I remember listening to my heart beat faster as I thought “Maybe I wasn’t too late maybe Santa was here now.”

Slowly I swung my legs over the side of my bed and quietly, while holding my breath, walked from my room down the stairs to the living room. I stood amazed by what I saw; the tree was all lit up with beautiful blue lights, which made the room look enchanting.  I gazed at the top of the tree and was fascinated by the colour of lights surrounding the angel’s wings.   Working my way down the tree eyeing  every bulb and tinsel reaching the bottom of the tree,  I realized Santa had been there.   I asked for Barbie and her camper and under the tree all set up, and ready to go, was Barbie sitting in her camper. I could barely contain myself from yelling out with excitement; instead I placed the palm of my hand over my mouth to stifle any sound because I wanted time alone under the Christmas tree that illuminated such a warm glow.  I walked over to the tree and sat on the floor to play, for what seemed like hours, before I heard any stirrings in the house. Santa came through after all,  my mother was wrong, Santa heard my wishes and made my Christmas magical.




As she pressed through the ancient wooden door,

she wondered if he was there,

often she drops by and sits alone in his house,

and wonders if he hears her,

she needed him to be there this time,

surrounded by his ancient walls,

she could only hear the crickety sound

of his floorboards,

the smell of dust and ancient wood filled her nostrils,

as she sat down in his chair and stared out his window,

closing her eyes, she tried to imagine what he would

be like if he was there,

would he be warm, would he make fun of her or

would he rebuke her,

after some time and deep into thought,

the candles to the right of her suddenly lit,

she felt the warmth of him stirring from deep


as he sat down beside her,

and guided her to feel complete and whole,

giving her the strength to face her fears

and embrace her worries,

letting her know that he is there,

for her,

in this world and beyond



as I walk on this path called life,

many past events haunt me,

wanders in and out of my thoughts when I least expect it,

alters my actions at times in current situations,

brings me anger in times of confrontation,

question motives and actions,

gives me the ability to look directly in eyes,

and see for who they really are,

search for truth and goodness,

empathy and compassion,

silly, funny and loving,

for this is what I see in the ones I love,

family, friends and children,

slowly I walk away from the haunting,

and into the arms of the ones I love,

trusting, loving, spiritual and connected,

in Him I trust.



Last weekend was a biggie for my  oldest son, he made his Confirmation.  Confirmation is one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church; Baptism, Holy Communion, Confession, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders and Anointing of the sick.  He confirmed that he accepts God and his son Jesus as his saviour and is enriched with the Holy Spirit and  is a true witness of Christ.   He was really excited about the day and he was beaming in Church.  I hope he always holds this day special in his heart and I pray that he will always turn to Jesus to guide him through both good times and bad times in life.  I’ve always turned to Jesus in times of joy, hope, sorrow and despair. Prayer doesn’t always bring desired results, however, God always leads me in the right direction.  Showing your children spirituality can be difficult as you want them to discover things on their own, not pound your beliefs in their heads.  It’s a delicate balance of guidance and discipline, but mostly it’s a matter of teaching children through example.  Next year my son is in his first year of high school, another biggie and I can’t quite believe how fast the time is going.  It seems like yesterday my boys were two little tots with the only thing on their minds being Thomas the Train and Mega Bloks.  It’s all too fast for me and I find myself taking deep breaths to take it all in before the time is gone!