“The present moment is all you ever have. There is never a time when your life is not “this moment.” Eckhart Tolle

Eric and I strolled the aisles of Target searching for the perfect gifts for Arielle and Kai. Both kids had told us one or two things they wanted for Christmas but were pretty nonchalant about the whole gift receiving tradition. We were clueless, asking each other if we thought Kai or Arielle would enjoy the gadget or goodie we spotted on the shelf. Both of us knowing gift cards were really the way to go but how exciting is opening up a gift card? You can’t play with it Christmas morning.

When our kids were little Eric and I would spend an evening at Toys-R-Us filling up our cart giddy with the anticipation of Christmas morning. Kai would be the first up, his stocking already empty by the time the rest of us climbed out of bed. The wonder on the kids faces upon seeing crumbs from cookies left for Santa and all the presents under the tree–it was always a magical morning.

We came home and found Arielle and Kai in the living room watching TV together. Big sister had driven little brother to his favorite restaurant for take-out and a huge Carrabbas bag sat on our counter. That’s when I realized that this was our new magic of Christmas. Before it was about the excitement of Santa and presents. Now, it’s about all of us being together, relaxing and cherishing moments.

Eric began cooking homemade macaroni and cheese and we turned on Sleepless in Seattle. Arielle and I curled up on the couch with our blankets and snacks. The kitchen smelled of melted butter and garlic. The movie made us laugh and Eric cry. In between the clinking of pots and pans there was sniffling and mumbles of, “stupid movie!”

Later we laughed through our delicious dinner then curled back up on the couch for yet another movie. Half way through Arielle had to turn up the volume because Eric and Nahla were snoring in stereo.

When the kids look back on their Christmases the memory of all their presents will have faded. What will remain will be the feelings created from all of us being together, laughing, eating Eric’s cooking, listening to sniffles and snores, and watching love stories while snuggled under blankets on the couch, that’s the magic of Christmas.

It looks like January 5th will be the big day! MYSTIC’s book birthday! The Kindle version will be out the end of January. I’ll keep you posted. I feel as though I’ve climbed a mountain and I’m about to take my final steps to the peak. It’s been an amazing journey.

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