The Magic of Christmas

by Dennis Perry on December 24, 2011

I would like to start this article with the disclaimer that it is not intended to be a statement about religion.  I simply want to briefly discuss an observation that I have witnessed over and over again for my entire life.


According to the CIA World Fact Book, approximately 33.3% of the world’s population is Christian.  That equates to about 2.1 billion people.  At the present time, this constitutes the largest religion-affiliated group.


For Christians, Christmas is one of the two most significant holy days of the year.  But, even for the roughly 66.7% of the world’s population that is not Christian, there is still something special about this time of year; something magical.


Yes, there is the rush of last minute shoppers, the chaos of trying to find that last present, the fights and arguments over that last parking space, and the definite stress that goes hand-in-hand with all the hustle and bustle.


But, there is also a calmness that this season brings with it.  There is the renewed hope for peace in the world.


Many if not most people seem to smile just a bit more and say hello to each other with a bit more warmth in their voice.


It is true that the retailers begin marketing for the Christmas season earlier and earlier each year.  Many retailers this year had the beginnings of their Christmas decorations going up along with their Halloween decorations.


The Christmas shopping season is often the difference between a successful year and a dismal one for many businesses, retail and otherwise.


The Christmas season officially begins on the Friday after Thanksgiving on what is now called Black Friday.  That is when all the retailers (and many other types of business for that matter) bring out their best bargains and sale prices to try and capture as much of your hard-earned revenue as possible.


But, for me, the “feeling” of Christmas doesn’t really start until late November at Thanksgiving time.  In the US, we celebrate Thanksgiving.  It is a time to give thanks for all of our blessings.  It is a time for families to reconnect and memories to be rekindled.


This time of year begins to signal the end of present year and the coming of a new year with all of its hopes and promises.


The end of the year is a time to reflect on what you have accomplished and where you still yet wish to go.  It is a time to begin to slow down a bit and enjoy the company of family and friends.


And that’s where the magic of Christmas begins for me.  Every year at this time I stop to think about all of the people who have had a hand in making me who I am; my teachers, my parents and siblings, my friends and extended family, my business partners, and certainly my wife and child.


I allow myself to spend a bit of time with my precious memories of Christmases past.  I also allow myself just a bit more time than normal to watch TV and see again (for the 200th time) some of my most favorite movies of all time.


If you have never watched the great Jimmy Stewart movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, I encourage you to do so.  Even though it is inherently a movie about Christmas, it also shares a great Life lesson that each and every one of us has a profound impact on our world and the people in it.


This is a time of year to watch any of one of the dozens of versions of the great Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol.  It too shares great life lessons for each of us.  These movies do about as good a job as I have seen explaining the magic or the spirit of Christmas.


For the record, even though I believe I have seen every version of this classic that has ever been produced and I loved them all, my favorites are Albert Finney’s Scrooge and the version of A Christmas Carol starring George C. Scott.  I highly recommend that you see these.


Every day I see and hear people wishing each other a Happy Holiday Season regardless of religious beliefs (or lack thereof).  People I work with are more tolerant of little irritations at this time of year.


The world just seems to be a happier place in spite of all our problems.


There are great stories of US and German soldiers during World War II pausing for just a moment in their hatred for each other to sing a few Christmas carols and even share a meal.


I have no way of knowing if these stories are completely accurate and true but they do a great job of showing once again this magic.


When a group of US children ranging in age from 4 to 8 years old were asked “What is Love” a 5 year old named Bobby had this to say, “Love is what is in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and just listen.”


I invite you to pause for a moment at this very special time of year and be grateful for all you have.  Take a moment to reach out to an old friend or an estranged family member.  Soak up the magic of this Christmas season and let it make you feel just a bit warmer and a bit happier today.


I thank you for being a reader of this blog and inspiring me to be more and to do better each and every day.


So, I hope you will allow me just this once to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Joyful and Successful New Year!





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Clare Delaney December 28, 2011 at 6:57 am

Delightful post Dennis and a great reminder of the important things during the Christmas season – thank you!

Should you idle your car when stopped, or switch off to save fuel and pollution? For how long?

Sonya Lenzo December 27, 2011 at 11:34 am

Yes, MAGIC is the perfect word to describe Christmas.Every year, no matter my circumstances, it has come upon me…sometimes in a church…sometimes with a friend…but every year it descends on me.This year more than ever I realized that great gifts are not purchased…they are things like health and reconnecting with an old friend.
Sonya Lenzo

Body language of offensive gestures December 27, 2011 at 3:03 am

Dennis, I think for some it is easy to forget there are reasons to be happy year round.
Scott Sylvan Bell
offensive body language
Now go implement!

Phil December 26, 2011 at 9:08 am

Thanks for the reminders to slow down, give thanks, and revel in the meaning and reason for the season! I appreciated your reminder to let movies work their magic. I was disappointed that I never found “A Wonderful Life” this year! I watched for it, but somehow missed it.


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