For me, this season has always been so full of magic. When I was young, I remember being enamored with the stories, the carols, the wishes, the food...the anticipation! Oh, my, the anticipation is thrilling. Hopes and dreams transformed into adrenaline, popping eyelids wide open until what feels like (must be) well after midnight; yielding the manifestation of all that must be good and right with the world. Ah, Christmas morning-a truly magical time. As I have grown to see this transformation take place in my own children, that magical feeling comes back year after year. And, I love it!

This year has been a bit different, however. This year is the first season for my oldest son to show true cracks in that armor of the magic. There have been numerous questions for myself and my wife; numerous statements of doubts; numerous wonderings of how… And, to see those cracks makes me yearn for yesterday when he truly viewed Christmas through the eyes of wonder.

This has had me thinking, though, about who has cracks in their armor of the magic. Is it him, or is it me? Am I holding onto those memories of anticipation through him-some sense of my own nostalgia to hold onto? Am I holding onto something unsustainable and unrealistic for my own enjoyment of this season? Am I allowing him to grow?

Mercifully, he answered my questions. And, he doesn’t even know it. You see- last month during our visit to Santa in New York City at Macy’s Santaland, he asked Santa for only one thing: that everyone in the world can have a good, hot meal for Christmas. This request was unbeknownst to my wife and I; and, as we were taken aback with his request, the magic of this season began to take form.

Since that request (and, the magic of social media) the spirit of magic alive in my oldest son has inspired many others. That inspiration has produced nearly 1,000 meals in his name, fulfilling his wish beyond our wildest imaginations (surely not beyond his imagination-the magic is strong with this one).

So, as I write this on this eve of Christmas Eve, I am awaiting the future with hopeful, joyful expectation, indeed. As is stated in the classic book, Polar Express, “the true spirit of Christmas lives in your heart”-the true spirit of Christmas is most definitely living in my son’s heart. Whether or not he continues to put his hopes and dreams in the magical, reverent being of the season or not; I know he has the magic in him.

I am thankful for his spirit; and, that his spirit has given me answers. Again, he doesn’t even know it. But, he will...because, he believes.

Jackson Dreiling