It Is Magical, Damn It

My daughter and I each took a little plastic seat at her pint-sized Fisher Price table on Saturday — my knees touching my chest, hers resting comfortably under the red-speckled tabletop — to write her Christmas list for Santa.
She reminded me that she saw Santa at the store when she went with daddy. Santa, she said, gave her a candy cane and she said thank you, even though she doesn’t like candy canes because they’re “spicy.”
Before handing the red marker over to me, she began by proudly writing her name in all capital letters across the middle of the page. With that all-important task complete (because, of course, it must be absolutely clear to Santa whose wishes he has before him), she began dictating her list to me. Number one on the list was “Cinderella” — not a Cinderella doll or dress, but the princess herself, in the flesh — followed by a baby house, a magic wand, Tinker Bell and pixie dust.
You got that, Santa?
After I had written it all out for her she completed the list by drawing Cinderella (over and over and over) and covering every bit of remaining white space with her name.
It’s unfortunate that the word “magical” has become so overused and synonymous with all things cheesy because there is not a simpler, more precise way to describe this season.
On the nights she chooses Peter Pan for her bedtime story, she sprinkles us both with pretend pixie dust when Peter escorts Wendy, Michael and John from their nursery to Neverland. In her three-year-old mind, if anyone could get her the real deal, it would be Santa. Tell me there isn’t something magical about that thought.
Go ahead, roll your eyes and call me a sap but there is something about this season that is wonderful and beautiful, and you don’t have to be a child to feel it. I had the pleasure of seeing A Christmas Carol at Trinity last week. When I walked into the theatre, it was November, not yet Thanksgiving. I left the theatre just over an hour later and it was suddenly Christmas. Magic. Pure, wondrous magic.
If you’re fighting to silence the Scrooge in you and it’s too late in the day to arrange a visit to Trinity tonight, consider a drive to Wickford for opening night of the village’s annual Festival of Lights: white lights glisten on fragrant boughs, historic homes and quaint storefronts are tastefully adorned with crimson, gold and silver. Tonight Santa arrives by boat, the village Christmas tree will be lit and the NK youth and community choruses will perform.
No, this season isn’t solely for children, but their excitement at this time of year is both enchanting and contagious. It’s sort of like pixie dust for the grown-up soul. Get your sprinkle tonight in Wickford — the magic start at 6 p.m.