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A Child’s Christmas Magick

I think of Christmas, being a child and the magick that surrounded me. From December 1, I would count down the days until Christmas and Christmas break from school. We would celebrate Saint Lucia’s Day on December 13th. In the Italian tradition, each day until Christmas predicted the coordinating month’s weather. This was how the farmers knew when to plant and harvest. Plus, everyone knew whatever the weather is on Saint Lucia’s Day, the opposite happens on Christmas Day.

My heart travels to the Christmas Eve sitting in the back of my parent’s car heading to my Nana’s for Christmas Eve. The songs played on the radio by Simon and Garfunkel still haunt me, “Homeward Bound” made me think about the news reports about Vietnam and soldiers trying to get home, wishing they were home…and their "7 O' Clock News/Silent Night" with the news report in the background – still my favorite along with Peanut’s, “Christmas Time Is Here.”

Nana and Grandpa owned a three-family home in Paterson, New Jersey and when we pulled up on the hill and u-turned to park, I jumped out and ran across the street and down the alley between the houses. I ran to the left past the slumbering garden and grape vines and up the stairs to the third floor. I looked over the third-floor porch and was sure it was a fairy tale tower. I loved how close everyone lived to each other and their unique Christmas decorations. In comparison, I lived in a ranch style house, close to an acre and relatively far from my neighbors.

I burst into their kitchen and to the right was the bathroom where the eel was swimming in the bathtub – I took a quick peak and thought I had a new pet. Not the best choice but it was better than the rock I painted a face on and dragged around on a string (before you could buy a pet rock). I ran into Nana’s loving arms, and she smelled so good and she was wearing an apron and cooking. Grandpa was cooking, too and standing by the and stove. The home was a railroad design and I ran into the dining room where the oak inlaid table with a lace table cloth was set for Christmas Eve dinner. In the living room there was a smaller Christmas tree with vintage ornaments from the 1930s. My Aunt Lee (an artist), Uncle Nick and my cousin Steven whom like my sister was ten years older than me. Steven was the smartest person in the whole world to me. Steven was a true 1960s hippie and revolutionist…he protested Vietnam to bring our soldiers home (thank you to all the men and women who serve our country). He fought for everyone to have their dignity and human rights.

Anyway, back to the Christmas dinner. I had two problems as the Italian fish started to come out. The first problem was the Italian seven fish Christmas Eve dinner was awful and second, I had to get home and fall asleep before Santa came or he would leave charcoal in my stocking and not Baby Magic™. As I was playing with my fish in the red sauce and trying to hide it because I did not want to hurt my Nana’s feelings and washing it down with ginger ale someone turned on the Santa tracker report. Now the stress began, Santa and the reindeer were getting closer to New York City, and I lived twenty minutes from Manhattan. I did not want to leave the love, warmth, and safety of my Nana’s but I had serious business at hand plus I would see them all tomorrow. Looking back at 62, you never realize those days will end and wish you could go back one more Christmas Eve.

Well, finally we said our goodbyes and headed home. I jumped into bed and was too excited to sleep and that is when it happened. I heard footsteps and peaked out from my blankets and there he was!!! Santa Claus was in the bedroom hallway, heading to the living room where the Christmas tree was. He wore a red suit with a fluffy white beard, and he had a black sack over his shoulder. That is when I saw the Christmas magick; Baby Magic™ was peeping over the sack and winked at me. I was too scared to move and fell asleep. In the morning, I ran to the living room and saw the giant pile of gifts and there she was Baby Magic™!!!

On Christmas, we should all be a child again and believe in the magick and miracles of Christmas. Every day we should all feel the love, warmth, and safety of my Nana’s home. That is our wishes for all of you…Merry Christmas…and to everyone whether you celebrate Christmas or not…may the New Year bring you Peace and in the true meaning, Good Will to All and to all a good night.

*The painting is my Nana painted in 1964 by my Aunt Lee Ellis.


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