There are so many sides to Christmas that we experience throughout the years. There’s our childhood Christmas times when the tree is so huge, and we spend so much time making our Christmas lists. Then there’s the adult Christmas times when we struggle just to get things done to get through the holidays. The traditional side prompts us to set up trees with ornaments that we keep packed away for most of the year—but that are important enough that we do indeed keep them, to remember the Christmases of the past.
There’s also a mystical side that’s a bit more elusive—but it just might be one of the greatest reasons we look forward to the holidays every year. It’s the mystical side of Christmas. The side that puts us in touch with Christmases of the past and why we want to relive it each year in the first place.
And there just happen to be two popular Christmas stories that illustrate the mystical side of Christmas.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Yes, the three ghosts are obviously mystical elements. Yet how does Scrooge really transform from a selfish miser to a man who makes a difference? He gets in touch with his past. He sees how he’s affecting the future, and he sees his ultimate demise and dark end. In these scenarios, Scrooge is “outside of himself,” pretty literally, seeing himself and reflecting on his actions and the way he lived his life. He has to get in touch with his true self to avoid a hard death caused by a cold life.
Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. While everyone knows the story of A Christmas Carol, it’s possible that not everyone knows Polar Express (though most probably are familiar with it). Without giving too much away, this amazing story features a bell that can only be heard by those who believe. In essence, the magic of Christmas is only attainable in entirety if you still believe in it.
And whether you believe in something brings home the idea of getting in touch with yourself, what’s important, what we carry throughout the years.
And that may be why throughout most people’s lives, Christmas remains so dear. It’s not the presents or traditions, but rather that mystical quality that reminds us of what we believe in…or want to believe in.
Or maybe it’s a little of all three.
In response to “Mystical.”