Copyright: evgenyatamanenko /

Copyright: evgenyatamanenko /

If I had to sum up December in one word, I’d choose magical. It’s the time of year that amidst the hustle and bustle, we slow down to enjoy friends and family, we appreciate the twinkle of holiday lights, and we just soak in the stillness and glow of Silent Night by candle light.

I cherish so many sweet priceless memories of Christmas growing up. I remember fun times making cookies with my mom and sisters, always being sure to make and decorate a batch of my grandmother’s butter cookies. I also remember gathering around my dad’s chair on Christmas Eve, listening to him read T’was the Night Before Christmas, each year with anticipation as though it was the first.

When my children were young, we had a bit of unexpected magic one Christmas Eve. We lived on the top floor of a four story apartment building. Typical for their age, neither my son nor daughter were interested in going to bed at a reasonable hour. There was simply too much excitement in the air. Suddenly a loud thud echoed from the roof top. Their eyes instantly grew wide in wonder. “Santa” they shrieked. “We need to get to bed,” they shouted darting to their beds. With a kiss on their foreheads and a tuck of their blankets, they drifted off almost instantly out of fear of chasing Santa away.

It was my first Christmas as a single mom. I had tried hard to share all the family traditions, not forgetting the reason for the season all while hoping they’d find a little Christmas magic after the tough year we had. I would have never guessed that a bump in the night on our roof would feed their youthful imagination with a sense of wonder that would last several years. When I think back to that night, you’d think I would have been alarmed with the unexplained thud on the roof. Instead, our family claimed it as a bit of Christmas magic that we still talk about today.

There’s a few things you can do to capture some Christmas magic of your own this year.

Don’t forget the traditions. Whether it’s making grandma’s cookies, or watching It’s a Wonderful Life, make sure you take time to enjoy some of your family’s traditions.

Share the season. Find a way to give to others. Maybe you buy a gift for a child on an Angel Tree, perhaps even purposefully picking out an older child, or visit an elderly relative or neighbor. You don’t have to look far to find someone who could use some cheer. And, not all of the ways you can give requires a monetary investment, many just require your time… making them priceless!

Smile. When people around you get pushy or irritated, don’t let their attitude become yours. Remember all the things you have to be thankful for and put a smile on your face and tuck one in your heart. Happiness can be quite contagious. Why not share a smile and do your part?

Try a new tradition. There are so many fun ideas on line and on Pinterest… why not be adventurous – find and try a new idea that could just become your family’s favorite new tradition.

Let go. Yes, let go of the goal to have a “perfect” Christmas. Do your part to plan, but roll with whatever unfolds. If your green bean casserole burns, be thankful for your family gathered around the table and let it go. If your toddler plays with the box and doesn’t really care about the gift that was inside, let him enjoy himself with the box. Let go of the stress, the high expectations and look for the magic, dwell on the reason you’re celebrating, and embrace unexpected surprises.

Christmas will be here before you know it. During the days leading up to it, may you find a bit of magic that puts a twinkle in your eyes and a smile in your heart! I wish you and your family a warm and wonderful Christmas!

As my way of helping spread some joy this Christmas, I’m giving second hand miracleaway one copy of A Cup of Christmas Cheer which includes my story Second Hand Miracle.This sweet story was inspired by a real life story in my parent’s life. Like my parent’s story, Second Hand Miracle will warm your heart!

How do you enter? Like, comment, retweet, or share this post. Each time you do, you’ll receive an extra entry into my giveaway. I’ll be selecting a winner this Tuesday December 15 at 9pm ET.

I’d love to hear about your favorite tradition, or where or how do you find Christmas magic this time of year?