December 27, 2023

The Christmas Trash Bag.

You know it well.

The big black trash bag your parents dragged around Christmas morning, picking up discarded boxes, paper, and ribbon as you tore into gifts they carefully chose for you.

Their eyes are tired, their coffee getting cold as they hurry to get warm cinnamon rolls on the table. It sneaks up on you, this Christmas morning role. You get to be the kid for so long, and what I’ve learned, still early into my trash bag years, is you never really stop being that kid.

You’ll still want the stocking candy, you’ll miss your mom and dad, and you’ll be tempted to call your best friend to see what they got.

You long for lost traditions because Christmas changes no matter how hard you fight it, and you’re still excited for a gift, even a pair of slippers you wrapped up yourself.

Maybe this is the magic of Christmas.

For one short season a year, or maybe just a moment on the holiday itself, you get a glimpse of your childhood. It may be pulling out your grandmother’s angel, singing a certain verse at the Christmas Eve service, or perhaps the sprint of your toddler as they find their surprise under the tree, but it will be there, something that makes you feel that same enchantment you felt as a child.

Christmas roles change and generations shift. Whether you’re searching for reindeer tracks or holding the trash bag, may you feel a moment of the magic this year and always.


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