The Tradition Brought Me the Magic

Whether recalling traditions from childhood or building new ones, traditions are the essence and magic of the holiday season. I now smile fondly, remembering my upbringing when my parents packed our light blue Datsun 510 station wagon. That final evening before Christmas, we traveled to my grandmother’s house, and “Oh, what fun” it is to relive!

Darkness was upon us as we took the twenty-minute jaunt to my mom-moms white cape cod house for Christmas Eve. Out the back window, I gazed at the night sky, pondering how far Rudolph was from our small three-bedroom rancher. I searched in the black blanket above for that blinking red nose. If I discovered Santa’s fearless leader guiding him above, I advised my sister that Rudolph was somewhere near us. However, if the evening appeared void of any magical nose, I understood it to mean Rudolph was on a rooftop and Santa was hard at work. I later learned the bright flickering glow that I lived for every 24th of December was an airplane signal. Funny how I NEVER observed that red light any other time of year. Of course, I told the same little tale to my children. I treasure their experiences, overhearing their wonder and excitement about how close Rudolph was to our home.

Twenty minutes had passed, and the address of “59 Fahnestock Road” peered down at us from a grassy incline. Opening the white, metal storm door, the little house roared with life as voices volleyed back and forth. My mother’s siblings, consisting of six brothers and one sister, gathered for the evening’s annual celebration. My uncles, guitars in hand, meandered into the kitchen and stood around the oval dining table. The soft tones of acoustic melodies inspired family members of every age to convene alongside them. Minutes later, our voices, in tune or not, sang an array of Christmas carols. One of my favorites was the jingle from Coca-Cola’s commercial, “I’d Like to Teach the World To Sing.” Hours later, my festive dress was exchanged for holiday pajamas; juggling packages, my parents ushered my sister and me down the cement walkway and into the frost-covered car.

We drove no more than a mile when a mini bedtime slumber took hold of us. Arriving home, I crawled beneath my Holly Hobby comforter and welcomed the last sleep before Christmas Day. There was no Rudolph, no Santa if we didn’t go immediately to sleep. Between believing in Santa and being a people pleaser, I would not disappoint the man with the white beard and red coat.

The following day never disappointed, but the night before is what I remember with such clarity and gratitude. The magic was never what was under our tree. No, it was ALL I witnessed and felt the enchanting night before Christmas Day.

What holiday tradition do you recall that brings the magic of the holiday to your world?

Published by dreazie87

Juggling life as a wife, mother, health care professional, and author while discovering and living my authentic self.

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