Christmas Can Feel Like Real Magic
Everything I do on stage is fake. It is often said, made famous by the father of modern magic Jean Eugene Robert Houdin, “A magician is an actor playing the role of a conjurer.” Lying professionally and keeping secrets makes finding real moments of magic in life a challenge sometimes.
I have never been a fan of the phrase “magic moment”. It always felt corny and forced by birthday party magicians. But in life these moments do happen. Moments of joy. Moments that make you feel you can change the world. Whether that be from a piece of art (watch the original teaser for “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, it makes me very happy) or from a delicious cup of warm chocolate melting cake (Also, very happy).
Christmas has been a consistent form of magic in my life. Christmas has always been a fond time for my family too. My parents have always gone out of their way to make Christmas memorable. Even the years money was tight, they still found a way to give us a good holiday.
There is one year in particular that always will stand out. When I was about seven years old, my parents woke me up at midnight on Christmas Eve to keep an eye out my bedroom window for Santa. Even at this oblivious age, I knew the chances of seeing the Big Man were slim.
To say that Santa was important to me would be an understatement; Santa was my reason for living at age seven. Santa represented pure bliss. Santa could do no wrong in my book. Santa could have sold me one of those faulty mortgages that caused the financial crash in 2008…and I would have been ok with it.
My father, mother and I gazed into the infinite abyss that was my childhood backyard. One minute passed. Two minutes. Three…fifteen. It was a dark night, a light snow passed through the wind and visibility was low. With one light that illuminated from our deck, my eyes furiously scanned the space back and fourth.
I had almost given up hope. Now that I think of it, so did my parents. My mom sadly whispered, “Maybe next year. Alright lets turn in.” But right as I was about to get back into my bunk bed, my dad shouted, “There he is!” I couldn’t believe my eyes. About one hundred feet in the distance, a red suited being with a white beard carrying a large brown bag trekked through our back yard. We watched in silence as he passed by and vanished into the night.
That was the first magic I ever saw.
You know a magic trick is good when, you know the method, and yet you still enjoy how the effect makes you feel. I now know that Santa was a friend of my father’s whom he hired to walk through our backyard. But I appreciate the feeling it created for me. I appreciate the feeling it instilled in my heart.
I am a very cynical person. But sometimes you just have to shut up and pay attention to the tiny moments that prove life is not as grim as it is made out to be.