April 13, 2005

The Death of Magic

Snapshots In My Time...
Of My Time.....Hauntings.

The death of magic. It can be a hard death which comes unexpectantly and with disbelief. When did the magic die for you? The death of magic came for me when I was 12. It came one summer day and was brought to me on a platter by my mother. She murdered magic and served it up on a silver tray and left it there for me to bury. Only I could not bury it right away. I was in such shock. All the wind was knocked out of me as I looked it in the face and tried to make sense of it. I still mourn for magic and in some ways have never forgiven my mother for the abruptness in which she murdered it, with no remorse or consideration for my feelings at all.

As an abused child, I only had my own thoughts to hold on to. Magic was just one of the good things I had to hold onto. I believed in the magic that was the easter bunny and Santa Clause and ghosts on halloween and all those other things we tend to believe as a child. Those things gave me hope that one day, special days like those as well as my birthdays would be better for me.

The summer when I was twelve, I was in the den with my mother talking about some sort of game or toy that I had seen on tv . I was telling her that if I was good then maybe santa would bring it for me for christmas. She looked kind of funny at me and then said, " you know there is not a real santa?" "Yes there is" , I vehemently said. " Santa is real!" I needed to believe. I needed to believe that all those times when everyone else got christmas gifts but me, that there was a Santa out there who would one day remember me. It simply could not be all up to my parents. If so, then all hope would be lost and the reality of how they made every holiday for me a miserable experience was even more cruel. There was no hope that I would be remembered by anyone.

She explained to me that I was too old to still believe in santa and that she was surprised that I still believed. I told her I still believed and that I really did not believe her in that all gifts were bought by them. She insisted it was. I asked some kids in the neighborhood and they confirmed what she told me was true. I was crushed. Crushed that she told me. What happened to letting the death of magic die a natural death? It is easier on the kids that way. They will soon come to realize what the real deal is but at least they would not have been deprived of their hopes and dreams regarding magic.

Really and truthfully, I have not really ever forgiven her for telling me and I never will. It was cruel. Maybe for a child with a normal upbringing that would have been fine, but for me with all the abuse and trauma I endured at the hands of my parents, it was just too much. I did what I normally did with things that mattered to me but to noone else. I vowed that once I was away from there and on my own, I would do things differently for me and I did.

When I lived alone and before any husbands, I always celebrated christmas in a big way. Live trees and all the decorations even if it was just me. Christmas magic always lived within me. Once I had kids, I vowed that every holiday would be a magical and memorable occasion. I have lived up to that to the point of exhaustion for me on every holiday.

My mother may have tried to kill magic for me, but I had some embers left and I fanned them back to life all of my adult life. Christmas is huge in my house. Santa is real and always will be. Letters are written to him each year. They are mailed by me and to the best of my ability, everything on the list , plus more, is received by my family members. On christmas eve, we do the santa tracking on line and before the kids go to bed, we spend an hour at the window gazing up at the sky looking for the sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. We also spend some of that time listening for sleigh bells and of course, it begins with me...I tell them that I swore I heard bells jingling. Everyone is in a frenzy and excited.

Now while this is fun, it means noone wants to go to sleep, so I have to wait till about 2:30 or 3:30am to put out gifts and finally go to bed. But not before drinking the egg nog and eating 2.5 of the 3 cookies that have been left for santa. The 1/2 of a cookie that is left always causes a lot of excitement on Christmas morning, let alone the gifts. It is magic, that 1/2 cookie and noone is allowed to eat it except the youngest in the household.

On St. Patricks Day we have visits from the leprechaun. Now I did not start this, school did in the first grade. The leprechaun comes to school while the kids are at lunch. When they get back to the class, desks are over turned, there is green paint on some of the desk tops and litttle green foot prints are in the hall. Well, I had no idea that the leprechauns had such an impact on my child till she got home and told me all about it in first grade. She asked me to look up some info on leprechauns and Ireland for her. I did and she then became totally possessed with leprechauns. I guess in school they had been talking about them all week. She had asked me to look up the info about 2 days before St. Patrick's day.

Don't you know on that day she came home and had drawn a leprechaun trap that we had to build to catch him. She got a laundry basket as a trap and made me suspend it from the den ceiling with a rope. Under the trap she put a plate of St. Patrick cookies that were shortbread with green sprinkles on them. She determined that once he went in for the cookies, the hamper would catch him. Well, what was I to do? What would you do? The only thing possible! Be that leprechaun. I ate the cookies, sprung the trap and got a handfull of green glitter and blew it over her as she slept. When she woke up she was covered in leprechaun dust. I also took a baby shoe of hers and put in on the toilet seat and poured glitter over it. Lift it up and you have the outline in glitter of a small little leprechaun foot. She built different traps for 4 years..till the fourth grade. Even now she has baggies of leprechaun dust she collected from the toilet seat of her bathroom. If you ask her about it, she says most seriously that it is leprchaun dust from when she was trying to catch him.

The other big belief in our home is the belief in Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell is real and at times leaves the magic kingdom to bring gifts of clothing mainly to the closet when grades are good. She has been going strong for about 10 years now. Whenever we go to Walt Disney World, seeing Tinkerbell fly from the top of Cinderella's Castle is the highlight of the trip. I think I must be more excited to see her that most kids. Last year thought, my child asked if there was a rope up there as she could just barely make out something else in the sky. I denied it. Tinkerbell flies on her own. No ropes.

During the same trip she said that she thought she felt a finger when she shook eeyores hand. I told her she was absolutely wrong about that! She was feeling the BONE in eeyore's finger.

For my family the death of magic will be at their own pace with me kicking and screaming to keep it alive for as long as possible. In fact, I do believe I have been kicking and screaming for the past year. I am winning thought. I know. This past christmas my child came home and said that she and some other kids were discussing Santa and someone told her it was the parents. I told her it was not true. Santa is real and I certainly did not buy all those presents. I told her that she needed to go outside and look up at the sky and apologize or she might not get any gifts. She just looked at me and said she was going to believe her friends. I again told her she was wrong. She just said, "whatever", in that preteen drama tone.

Well, about 15 minutes later, I heard the front door open. It is night, about 7:30, so I go see what is going on. There my child is, looking up at the sky and apologizing to Santa Clause. I tiptoed back to the kitchen. Magic is alive and well in my house. The death of magic is not welcome there. It is coming sure as the sun rises and sets each day, but I won't murder it. The death of magic will be soft and easy and with pleasant memories that will last a lifetime.


  1. Sweet :-D We (Icelandic tradition) belive there are thirteen trickster santas and 13 nights before Christmas the first one comes to town and puts a present in the kids shoes which they´ve left in their windows, that is if they´ve been good ;-) Seeing as the kids are only 6 and 9 the belief is still going strong even if I´ve occasionally forgotten to put the toy/sweet there and covered it up by placing a shoe with the present in a hidden place claiming santa to be a tease ;-P

  2. i like that! do you give gifts on just the first night or do you leave trick gifts on the other 12 nights?

  3. What a lovely post. I am sorry you had such a traumatic childhood, but you have kept the magic alive for your kids and that is a wonderful thing to do. Bless your heart!

  4. thanks dana..it has been fun but a lot of work.