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December 25, 2014
The Secret Life of Molly
Magic Throughout the Year
by Hannah Bird

Her first year of college, my daughter roomed with a girl who was several years older than she. The roommate considered herself infinitely more sophisticated. She announced that unlike my daughter, she had grown up in the real world.

My daughter had married parents. She had a reasonably adequate middle class life. She was religious and her friends were too. Her relative safety and loving (huge) family were such a wonder that my daughter’s life was deemed “not real.”

The truth is, of course, that there were wobbles and bumps the roommate would never know about. But still. When did we decide that bad was more real than good?

It’s Christmas Day. I hope it was wonderful. It was preceded by weeks of planning. There have been concerts and plays and recitals. There is music on the radio that you can sing along with. We made favorite treats and watched favorite shows. We snuggled and planned and anticipated.

It was magical. Last night we surveyed the house with twinkly lights and presents wrapped and breathed in joy.

We read the scriptures. We taught about the baby. Bathrobes and towels made little boys and girls into shepherds and kings. Happy tears were nearer to the surface. The Spirit felt near. But now, there are wrappings spread far and near and children who need a nap and dinner to make.

Now it is the day after Christmas and there is trash to take out and work to catch up. The worries we set aside will come roaring back. We find ourselves staring down the barrel of a cold bleak January. The magic we felt seems a lifetime away.

We are done with magic now. It’s back to the real world. To work and school. To business and busyness.

Except, the magic is the real world too. The real world is the resounding thump of January 2nd. But it is also children carolling. The real world is bills but also the tender ministrations of a five-year-old Mary to the baby doll standing in for Jesus. The real world is rumors of war and a 24-hour news cycle. It is also “peace on earth, goodwill towards men.”

Live in the real world. Put some tinsel in your heart to shine on icy day. Snuggle and pray like it’s Christmas Eve. Think of others and how to give good gifts of every kind. Let there be a little bit of magic. Love like a mother did when her son was born. Love like a Father did when his children needed redeeming.

Merry Christmas and Happy December 26th, 27th, 28th...


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