I have started this entry several times in this last half hour. I know what I want to say, but everything so far has sounded so contrived. We bought our tree Saturday. Briar helped to decorate the tree, in fact she spent most of Friday night and Saturday declaring how she would,

“Help to mommy decorate the tree, me. Briar.”

We were understandably excited to let her do it. I painstakingly examined our box of decorations and deemed half of our surprisingly small inventory to be unsafe. Putting aside the off-limits ornaments, we let Briar take different pieces to put up. Very few made it to the tree, so Sean picked up the slack while Avery cheered him on. It was about 5:30 when we finished. I was getting up to make dinner when something happened. There was a shift.
The light in the room changed, the glow of the white lights softened the room, and lacy patterns danced on the plaster walls and ceiling, the candles outside flickered and cast bubbly shadows on the window sills. Briar stood by the tree with a candy cane ornament I had fashioned from pipe cleaners last year. I had not put it out.
Her knees touched inward as she squatted ever so slightly, her bottom pushing out and her little fingers pressing together to hook the candy cane on a limb. Its perch was so precarious, the ornament so crude, I heard myself gasp. She walked away from the tree with a beaming face of accomplishment, never realizing that she had been watched. Something about that picture took me back – I was able to taste the magic of Christmas Eve, the unbridled excitement. That little bit of wire and colored felt, hung by a 2 year old seemed to hold the same mystique as a plate of mostly eaten cookies on Christmas morning with a thank you note from Santa or Santa’s cane in Miracle on 34th Street.

In any case, I wanted to share the picture. Maybe you’ve seen something that has made you believe, or even just pause to be grateful for the little bits of magic in everyday life.

I wish a little bit of magic for everyone this year.