Every year, the lights go up, the hustle and bustle begin, and people become rats in a glorious maze of packages and bags. I always tell myself that THIS will be the year that I “feel the magic”. It has, unfortunately, been many a year since I have felt the “magic”. You remember, the feeling of waking up before the sun rose, having this burst of excitement in the pit of your stomach, the wonder and awe of walking into the room and seeing the tree surrounded by a Cascade of gifts, the stockings stuffed full of surprises, and the joyous feeling of pure glee as you opened each gift with, what can only be described as, the determination of Batman on a crusade to rid Gotham of all it’s villians. I recall spending hours with my newfound treasures, carefully hoarded into my room, some more precious than others, the clothing tossed aside in favor of the season’s most sought after “gifts of the year”. My parents seemed to spare no expense in that department. I seemed to be the envy of all who were privy to my veritable feast of the latest and greatest gadgets. I guess, in truth, I took most things for granted. Even in these later years, as I look back at what I thought I didn’t have, I realize that, perhaps, I didn’t appreciate enough the things that I DID have. I often feel, as I a parent, that I am probably guilty of passing this on to my own children. When I look at the things that I shower my children with, shouldn’t love and affection be the two most abundant gifts? And yet, I struggle and scrape to fill their every wish, as though it will fill the hole left by the lack of affection in our lives. Don’t misunderstand, the love is always there, and caring doesn’t get tossed by the wayside. I simply mean that there is a broken bridge between us that, if both sides took the time to rebuild, might bring us closer together. So, as I look around at all of the scurrying folks, rushing off to find the most perfect gifts, I have only one gift in mind. I wish, more than anything in the world, for the one day of the year where everything bad comes to a standstill and melts away, where laughter is louder than words, where hearts are filled and bursting at the seams, and all is right for everyone. I wish for the “magic” just one more time.