I have never met a Holiday Season I did not want to build a fire in the fireplace and cozy up with. Maybe a marker for the whimsy gene, the idea of wrapping a tree, a house, a room with lights seems to me the makings of a more peaceful, joyful world.  I am fortunate to live in the midwest where December inevitably will offer weather which enchants the season with a chill requiring hot cocoa and snowflakes which offer Santa a landscape perfect for his sleigh.  

I resolutely believed in Santa until I was well into grade school, and even after I had the good sense to pretend otherwise, I have continued believing; at least a little bit.  I have a memory, one of my earliest, of being tucked into the backseat of our family station wagon as a toddler leaving my grandparents house on Christmas Eve.  I saw Santa's sleigh.  It is very difficult to unsee something so profoundly felt.  This was not my only occurrence with magic; rather the beginning.  Not much older I looked out the bathroom window before bedtime.  I recall standing on the toilet and finding a starlight, starbright, first star I saw that night.  I wished for a doll and vividly remember the choice to hold my wish in my heart, somehow already knowing this was the locale of all things magic.  Late that night, which may have been anytime after 8pm, I woke to noises.  My grandmother had arrived to see my parents which was not a usual occurrence.  She offered me a brand new doll; dark hair dressed in yellow raincoat and hat.  Of course I still wish on stars, but having refreshed this memory I am wondering why I do not practice this more religiously.

The holidays hold for me the practice of cherishing days with traditions which exalt them with a richness lost most of the year.  I love the traditions of gift making, gift giving, and yes even gift receiving.  This morning after sending the boys off to school in the too early dark, I reminded them it is December the first.  I sat with my coffee and allowed myself the luxury of breathing in the enchantment.  Actually, I almost missed the moment.  I stumbled into it in a simple but often forgotten practice.  On my bedside table, unearthed from the last spilled beverage, was a hotel size thin envelope of lotion.  I opened it and at once was breathing deeper for the extravagant smells of herbs.  I might have expected the plush texture of the lotion for the smell, but instead was again overtaken with surprise; the lotion itself was a profound treat for my skin.  (Templespa. Repose.  Aromatherapy Resting Cream.)  I can only describe it as heaven and necessary.  An unknown necessity which I will forget, but still a bow tied to my fondness for 'my favorite things' which the Holidays have a habit of wakening. Dark Coffee with fresh whipped cream. Organic rough soap with a bouquet which lingers.  A t shirt made of the perfect cotton and fits perfectly.  Wool socks.  Candles which smell like (fill in the blank).  Cookies baking in the oven.  Snow days.  Stockings and a tree and lights.  Finding just the right gift for my favorite boys.  

This December 1, 2015 morning captured me like magic.  It has reminded me how a combination of scents and memories can right my perspective quickly, pointing directly toward joy. Enchantment is necessary, and lately too rare.  

I realize my anxious refreshing the Etsy Store, waiting for a sale, distracts me.  No matter how much I want to be the maker of a favorite thing for another, the impatient focus on promotion is not the route for me as I believe in magic.   It is in the joy I gather as I steady and slowly create the next piece of jewelry, believing each and every piece will find its moment to create an 'aha' for another.  Most have already given me a similiar satisfaction, though rough and cramping fingers.  This is not a world which welcomes magic into our daily existence, though Magic has taken up residence and enchanted the month of December for as long as I can remember.  Today I will breathe it in.

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