Monday, November 25, 2013

The Magicals

I received an email recently
from my aunt, an American
expat living in London.  She
sends these notes periodically
to family and friends, writing
about her adventures
 in London and beyond.

In this particular letter, she
described the amazing holiday
windows at Harrod's and the
beautiful decorations all 
around London.

One word was sprinkled 
throughout her descriptions 
of these lovely sights.


Our family of four stayed
with my aunt and uncle in
London this time last year, and
my thoughts kept coming back
to her letter, long after I'd put
my computer to bed.  

Especially that word.

Magical. defines magical

mysteriously enchanting.

Magic is similar to its cousin,
gratitude, yet they are not
the same thing.

When I took Gracie out this
morning, our breaths making 
small clouds from the bitter cold,
I was so thankful for the warm
house we'd soon re-enter.


Gazing up at the sky in the
pre-dawn stillness, I could see
a sliver of moon, with one
lone star keeping it company.


{By the time I grabbed my camera, the star had disappeared....}

As I moved from one task
to another the rest of the day,
my mind reached back over
the years, sifting through my
gratefuls, mining for magicals.

Like many of you, I remembered
lying under the Christmas tree
with my little brother, looking
straight up at the splendor of
fairy lights, shiny ornaments 
and tinsel.

I also recalled stretching out
with our mom and dad one night 
on a beach vacation, awestruck 
by millions of stars overhead.


My mind meandered to the many
nights that I snuck into my
children's rooms to gaze at
their sleeping faces, perfection
in rosy cheeks and peaceful

Having longed for babies of
my own before they finally
came along, this sight never
ceased to weavemagic spell
for me. 

Even now, when my son
sleeps through his alarm and
I have to creep in to gently
chide him to get up, I still pause
a moment to take in his face,
lost in a teenage dream.

For me, it's a magical.
And yes, a grateful, too.

Sometimes it works that way.

As wonderful as television and
movies, magazines and Pinterest
are, they can set an unrealistic
expectation of what a magical
holiday is supposed to look like.

I am guilty of succumbing to
the seduction of these captivating
images in years past, becoming 
frazzled in an attempt to recreate 
the perfect Christmas.

But not this year.

This year I'm going to think like
the little girl I once was.  The one
who didn't expect magic, yet
found it in the simplest of
things, like a string of twinkle
lights or the taste of peppermint.

I am keeping a list and I'm checking
it twice.  My list of very simple
magicals--those that make my heart
sing and remind me that the gift of
the mysteriously enchanting
 is right under our noses,

no frazzle required : )

Wherever you are, near or far,
snowy climes or tropical ones, I
fervently hope that you will tune in
to the magicals in your own life.
They are free, they are abundant,
 and they are yours, my friends.

They are yours.

Sending you warm hugs for the
happiest of holiday seasons.

Thank you for adding
magic to my world.

I'll be back in the new year.


all images my own


The enchanted home said...

Another gorgeous and thought provoking post. You are so right we should not lose sight of the magic of the is sometimes easy to push then aside in haste to get things done....this post is one I hope to revisit during the height of the frenzied period...when I need a getaway even for a few minutes to decompress!

designchic said...

What a beautiful post and a great reminder to us all. I'm so looking forward to the holiday season and being with family and friends to celebrate. Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful!

Sue said...

How true Suzanne, the extraordinary ordinary, right here with us if we only look for it. I am trying very hard to have an "intentional" Christmas season this year.

I hope your Thanksgiving is magical! Thank you for articulating what I so often feel:-)

ColorFormTexture said...

Suzanne, thank you for another thoughtful and thought-provoking post. We all have so much for which to be thankful. Blessings to you and your family this week. Here is to a magical holiday season!

Dianna said...

Oh Suzanne, what a beautiful post. You and the written word make quite the pair...a part of the magical of my life is finding the beauty in the words you create.

The photos are absolutely wonderful. You have inspired me via your last e-mail...I shall write and share with you the inspiration and later share the outcome. :)

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Terra said...

Oh Suzanne, this post really touched my heart. I am Thankful for the Magical you shared in it. I am aiming for a relaxed Christmas, putting Jesus and loved ones in the center of it.

Hindsfeet said...

*Thank* You, Suzanne...

You are Gift.

Happiest of Holidays,

Patricia Goins said...

That was just lovely. I agree, it is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle- and the result is just stress. So wrong a feeling for such a lovely time of year. Your posts are always so moving.

Dewena Callis said...

What an apt and beautiful visual your open mittens are. You have chosen a wise path here. I know that your list will grow each day. I hope you pass that list down to your children some day. I think they will treasure it. I know that your post will remain in my mind through the season.

NanaDiana said...

Suzanne- This is just a magical post...and your pictures and words evoke wonderful memories for me, too. Happy Thanksgiving- xo Diana

kerrie of sea cottage said...

Have a magical holiday. It is a new magic to cherish with your daughter coming home for the holidays...a first of many. I am experiencing it for the first this year too...magical moments. xxo

Leslie said...

Finding the magic and beauty in daily living is so powerful and I believe it can make the difference between someone that is generally happy and a person that is not. The Polar Express .. can you still hear the bell? .. the child within:) I love that movie and watch it with my family every year.

Enjoy the long weekend with your family! xxleslie

michele said...

so eloquently stated, suzanne. in fact, now i can feel that much better about myself simply being lazy by reading this post and agreeing glitz and glamour is purely optional even if we're post happy bloggers.

YOU are magic, lady.


AmyH said...

I thought I saw our friend this week. She was walking into school with a hat and coat. My heart recognized her immediately. But then my mind reminded me, it can't be Kathleen. Just another person who looked like her from afar. But, for that spilt second my heart soared. It was magical. Thank you for your blog. I am truly grateful.


Beautiful thoughts and images Suzanne. I love the magic of Christmas.....and I hope you have a special holiday season with your family:)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning dear heart.

You are talking about what has been on my mind for weeks, as I think about Christmas.

The Christmases from the past as just that: MAGICAL. The Christmases of the recent past are just that: MAGICAL. I suspect that this Christmas will be the same, for no matter what the d├ęcor or lack of, it is enchanting to me. But in order to come to this realization, I've had to gather all my memories like one gathers their Christmas gifts after opening them, and I've examined the best moments. Those were times when all I had were the stars to look up too, TIME to watch the others in a frenzy of stress, and little moments like making tamales with my family or eating on the couch under a duvet with my husband, watching holiday movies until the next morning.

Magic? It's inside of us. We just have to let it out.

Much love. Anita

Farmgirl Paints said...

Magicals. Love that. That first pic was magic. Lissa just got back from London. They do it up right for Christmas. Charming. I'm in the mood for magic this year. Simple and sweet.

Katherine said...

Have a magical Christmas and New Year with your family. With my two boys growing fast I aim to capture as much magic as they will let me before they are far too grown up for it all! Take care x

Olive said...

The truth you write of here is magical itself Suzanne. Thank You.

thejugglestruggle said...

Your words coupled with your photos evoke a magical quality all their own. Thank you for this lovely reminder to find the magic in the simple. It should be easy for us to keep it simple, but it can almost feel like a salmon swimming upstream when it comes to paring down and seeing God's gifts to us in their purest forms.
xo Lisa

Enjoy your blogbatical...I will miss your posts greatly, but I know you will make the most of your time away!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Suzanne, I just love you...this is such a lovely post and speaks to my heart. We have really scaled back here this holiday season, what really matters. Can't wait to see you next week...having a friend like you IS magical for me...xo

Mary Timmers said...


After the year I've had, I'm paring down too. Simple is better, takes less energy, and focuses you on the important stuff. Thanks for your blog. Have a great break!


Lili said...

Hello my dear has been way too long since I have gotten caught up with you. I knew you would have some beautiful words during this holiday season. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving sweetie. xoxo

Just a little something from Judy said...

Truly you added a few "magical" moments to my morning, in my visit with you. So kindly and yet so powerfully shared. Thank you! Wishing you time to take it all in, and time to give it out to others too, in the beautiful holiday season.
You are a blessing!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and upcoming holidays with your reunited family! Yes, England is truly magical - I pinch myself every day. xoL

Rambling Tart said...

I love this so much. :-) I too love FINDING the magic around me, especially when I don't have the strength or energy to create it. I love the photos you chose, and your dear Aunt for lighting the spark that led to such an inspiring post. :-) xo

Joanna said...

Beautiful post. I've given up creating the 'perfect' Christmas - no one enjoys being around someone hell bent on getting everything to be just right. Frazzled is the word. And unhappy, because unless you have many people assisting, the 'perfect' media hyped Christmas is unachievable. With the recession biting hard this year we are having to cut back on presents, treats etc. We asked the 'kids' (they're 17 and 19!) what they liked best about Christmas and it was having crackers on the table and being together as a family, playing silly board games and watching the Doctor Who Christmas special. The crackers are bought and we will be together as a family. Sounds pretty perfect to me :)

Wishing you and your lovely family a wonderful Christmas <3

ps Hope and I will be visiting London soon to enjoy the Christmas shop windows, they are always so creative and, yes, magical. xx

Dale Janee said...

I just found your blog and this is so exciting your aunt sends you these pics from london. I'm living in Switzerland after just moving here from SF and it's so fun to see how different Europe is for decorating for Christmas. Nice post!


Tiffini said...

friend...THIS moved me. THIS is where my heart is too. after this crazy year...and it isn't over yet..i am in need of some magical and i will pursue it right alongside you.
i really pray you find all your heart needs. that you are able to truly relish in this season..listening and recording all you see. i love you..xo

Bonnie said...

What a blessing you are to us with your wisdom and sweet spirit. May we all aspire to think and act each day enjoying the beauty and awe around us. Let us have that child like wonder. Thank you for reminding me of the simple wonderful things

Pondside said...

You and I share a definition for 'magical'. This post is beautiful, and worth bookmarking to read again during the season - a bit like a favourite Christmas story.

pretty pink tulips said...

Hello Suzanne!!

Always love your posts. They seem to frame the things that matter most!

On my walks with Molly, I'll look up at the bare trees and see the remaining nests…which make me think of you and one of your earlier posts.

My youngest still believes in Santa…and I want to keep that magic going for him.

Here's to a magical holiday season!
xoxo Elizabeth

Nancy {at} powellbrower at home said...

This is so beautiful and hits home with me this year. It is NOT ABOUT STUFF, but savoring the magic and the journey. Thank you for your inspiration. xo Nancy

patty said...

just so beautiful.
i love that you are escaping the frazzle. i wish i knew how. ;) a belated happy thanksgiving and wishing you and yours a very, very merry. xo

Francesca Meazza Passionedeco said...

Oh my! This is the most beautiful post I have read lately.
Goosebumps..that's what I got..
Thank you and a merry magical simple Christmas to you.


Palomasea said...

Magical is one of my favorite words, although I had not known the official "definition" until now.
Suzanne, you weave magic with, Anita, Sylvia in all have this "mysteriously enchanting" GIFT. It is so interesting how you connected it with gratitude....for every bit of the everyday magical, indeed, a great wave of gratitude washes over me. Bless you for who you are, dear Suzanne.
I hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving...and I wish you love, warmth, and magical wonder this season.
(Have fun in that snow!) ;)))
Much love and warmest hugs,
- Irina

susan@avintagefarmwife said...

Such a lovely post and reminder to keep our eyes open. I loved your pictures, too! Merry Christmas!

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

I think this is my third time reading this post. In the hustle and bustle of the season it reminds me to stop and enjoy the little details……the colors of all the different evergreens I've clipped from the yard, the twinkling lights of my neighborhood outside the window, the smells and sights and sounds of Christmas inside our house. Thank you for the reminder to take it all in - *you* are magical my dear friend!

Cindy said...

I have been catching up with your blog. Each one is thought provoking and beautiful! But I LOVE this post the most. I decided to simplify our holiday this year, I too, have been looking at all the perfect Christmas decorations on Pinterest and in glossy magazines. I thought I might succumb to the urge of full blown decorating...then I read your post. I love my simple decorations. I will take your wise advice and be grateful for what is real! Merry Christmas! Much love-Cindy


The simple magic ... is my favorite kind.

Merry Christmas, Suzanne.


Palomasea said...

Just wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas, dear Suzanne....
Love and blessings,
- Irina

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I hope it was a simply magical Christmas for you and your family. Oddly, this year was one where things came together quickly due to my work load and didn't allow for much, if any, obsessing over details and it was just wonderful!
Enjoy your time off!!!

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Suzanne, I want to wish you a very happy New year and a year filled with so many magicals your heart could burst! I hope that your Christmas holiday was especially magical with the homecoming of your beautiful Elizabeth. I bet your little pup went wild!

Thank you Suzanne for sharing your wisdom and beauty. Each and every visit here is a magical for me. Your words are like "God winks" and they fill me with joy, happiness and light. Thank you for helping me become a better person.

Xo Elizabeth

Ps I have been thinking of you on your first holiday without your friend, I am sure she is smiling down at you.

patty said...

hello suzanne! iknow i've already commented on this post... just wanted to stop in and say hello and happy new year to you. i so agree... i think we would be fast friends! i could sit and listen to you all day... i love your prose and i love your vision... and i think we have a lot in common, especially w our kiddos being so similar in age. i hope your daughter is home for the holidays and you are soaking up every moment with your family.

wishing you love, peace, joy, and all good things in 2014! xo