This time 13 years ago Santa was coming. He was loading up his sleigh and my toys were in his satchel ready to nestle themselves under the Christmas tree. I had set out the cookies for him and a carrot for Vixen (well I did not like Rudolph). This time 13 years ago I was prancing around my house in a tutu, probably pretending to be Clara from The Nutcracker as I waited for company to show up at the house. I kissed baby Jesus on the forehead as I passed him on our table side nativity.

This time 13 years ago, the magic of Christmas was snug in my heart and no one, absolutely no one, could take away from me the sugarplum fairies that were dancing in my head.

This Christmas season was not all that there for me. Sure, I went through the motions of shopping for everyone on my list, sending out cards, wrapping gifts and baking cupcakes, but the magic that usually accompanies me throughout the 25 days was just not there.

It is not a Scrooge feeling, it is just a different feeling.

As we get older the holidays become more stressful , covered like a sheet of snow by other things that must still take precedence in our lives. The work load. The final tests. The finances. Before we know it, it is gone. In the blink of an eye, the season ends.

24 hours left, a giant Christmas Eve party and a Christmas morning gathering before the season will make its way to the back of the calendar once again.

If you have not already, steal the season back. Don't rip it from the heart of little Cindy Loo Who like Mr. Grinch but sing your own Who song. Make your own Whoville, someway, somehow.

Let's acknowledge those who have given us gifts this season. Give gifts to others with every intention of goodness in our hearts. Say Merry Christmas to perfect strangers. Say a prayer for those who may not have as happy of a holiday this season. Light candles. Sing carols. Realize that Christmas is not a noun, it is verb.

Christmas is giving, sharing, loving, spending- not money but time- singing, dancing, recognizing the reason for the season.

Let us refocus for the last 24 hours. Forget the lists that were not quite finished, the gifts we simply could not get our hands on this year, the mounds of calories we are nervous about consuming and just let Christmas take its course. Just let Christmas fill us with wonder and excitement and all the feelings that we once had as little children.

So wait up for Santa. Listen for bells. Go Christmas caroling. Put on your tutu. Fall asleep tonight with visions of sugar plums rocking out in your head.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

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