September 15, 2012 10:14:40 PM
The holidays are upon us, well, almost, and the splendor of the season begins for me at this time each year as it has since I was a child. The skating pond is a magical piece of Department 56, and as you might know by now, I am an avid collector of all things that fill my heart with the magic of Christmas.
I'm building my collection slowly. The other day I was thrilled, giddy even, when an enormous brown box magically appeared on my doorstep. As any 40-year-old kid would do, I ripped open the top, flung Styrofoam "peanuts" everywhere, and dug down deep into the box pulling out my skating pond.
First, I carefully unwrapped the plastic from each miniature evergreen tree and flanked them all around the banks of my frozen pond of wonder. Next, a tiny puppy and even a jolly ole snowman took their places in the snow near the ice as if they had been waiting all year long for the skaters. Finally, all the bubble wrap fell away revealing the five enchanting skaters: a blond-haired little fellow with his arms stretched tightly around his big sister, the two best friends spinning dressed in winter scarves, and a silver-haired lady with arms lifted high above her toboggan. All the skaters took their positions on the skating pond with smiling faces, standing perfectly still as if frozen in time.
Without dilly-dallying, I untied the long white cord, slid it into the electrical outlet, closed one eye, and flipped the switch to the on position. I waited for the magic to begin, but the skating pond was broken.
It's also no secret that my mama has been battling cancer for over a year, and it has often been less than beautiful holding hands at doctor's appointments, sorting out medications, and waiting for the magic to return. I believe it's inside us all. We just have to reach down deep to find it. For Mama and me, the magic comes from simple joys like chocolate Yoo-hoos, the home shopping channels, and feeling pretty.
Disease might have taken her good health, but God keeps giving us moments. We spend our mornings with breakfast biscuits and the occasional hash browns, salon blow dries, vibrant glittery nail polish, and giggling over new fragrances of bubble bath at the mall. We finish each other's sentences, fall asleep under different ends of the same blanket watching "Golden Girls," and, boy, do we love Christmas!
Nothing perks my mama up more, and for that matter me, too, than the hope of something new. It might be a new shade of lipstick, a new headful of highlights, or an emerald green purse for her. For me, it's a new day, another Christmas, many more years with my mama. I often find myself hardly recognizable in a sad corner of a room, perfectly still, waiting for the magic to begin again.
Then I hear my beautiful mama's voice in my ear, often literally, standing right beside me saying, "It's broken, but we can glue it back together." To which I reply, "I know it's broken, Mama, so let's get the glue and you can help me."
The skating pond will be in full swing by the holidays somewhere near all of my little lighted villages -- Radio City Music Hall, Lafayette's Bakery, Fifth Avenue Salon -- and I will be enchanted by the magic.
The magic never stops if it's inside us, and the moral of this rambling story is, we just have to keep skating, if only in our hearts.
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.