Why the “Magic of Christmas” Doesn’t Have to Die

IMG_4266As a songwriter, I spend a lot of time listening to songs over and over and picking them apart until I fully resonate with – or at least understand – every single lyric. And tonight, Christmas Eve, with a room temperature cup of peppermint tea on the table beside me and a bunch of friends’ presents I still need to wrap on the floor, my song of choice is “Be Born in Me” by Francesca Battistelli. The more times I listen, the more I am moved.

{listen here: “Be Born in Me” by Francesca Battistelli}

Right now, I can hear “Santa” moving around downstairs, lugging in my youngest sister’s Lego Friends “Rockin’ Pop Star Tour Bus” and trying not to get too agitated as he tries to put together whatever else she asked for. Meanwhile, Mrs. Clause is filling our stockings with candy for my sisters and hopefully a Starbucks gift card for me. (Okay, hopefully some dark chocolate too.)

Only one of my sisters, Lilly, still believes. And tonight, as my 2 other sisters and I moved the Elf on the Shelf one last time, we talked about how much less fun Christmas is when Santa isn’t real anymore. We talked about how the magic is gone – how it all seems kind of like a big act now that you know the big man in the red suit doesn’t actually exist anywhere other than the Green Hills Mall or preschool Christmas parties or outside Kroger, shaking a jingle bell next to a change bucket. And tonight, when my parents told us to “go upstairs and not come back down because we “might see Santa”, I got this feeling of disappointment – I know, I’m 18, and I haven’t believed in Santa since I was 10. But as I walked upstairs and closed the door to my room, I just felt sad. I felt like the magic of Christmas was gone.

And then, I put on my favorite Pandora station, and that song came on.

I won’t summarize the entire song, but basically, it is sung from the perspective of Mary, talking to her newborn son Jesus. She talks about how afraid she is, what a big deal it is that she has just given birth to the Son of God, and how terrifying that is for her. It is the most honest and real Nativity reflection I have ever heard. But my favorite part of the entire song is the bridge, and it says,

“I am not brave – I’ll never be / the only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy. I’m just a girl, nothing more / But I am willing, I am yours”

And in listening to those words tonight, I realized something: The magic of Christmas does not have to die with Santa. The magic of Christmas is supposed to grow stronger as we get older, because we realize that it’s not about a nice old man who leaves toys under a tree in your living room, but a baby who was born 2000 years ago and saved the entire world. 

Listening to this song, I think about Mary like I never have before. I think about a 14-year-old girl – 4 whole years younger than me – looking down at the Child she just gave birth to and knowing that not only is He the Son of God, but also, she will be raising Him. I’ve never thought about how scared she must have been. I’ve never thought about how she must have felt holding Jesus for the first time; I’ve always pictured that scene as a rock-solid, fearless, overjoyed mother holding her precious baby without a worry in the world. But now, I realize: she had to have been terrified. I can only imagine what I would’ve felt like in her shoes.

And it makes me think about what would’ve happened if she had said no. If the angel had come to her, and asked her to raise the Son of God, and she had said, “I can’t. I am too scared.” That would be it. None of us would ever get to Heaven. None of us would ever be freed from our sins – and Lord knows we all have a lot of sins we need to be freed from, myself very much included. None of us would have any hope for eternal life. If this girl would’ve said no, none of this world would be anywhere close to the same.

But she said yes. She said yes to God’s call, and because of that one yes, the entire world was saved. Now, I know there’s a slim chance of me ever “saving the entire world” or anything close to that. But I like to think that there’s a reason God calls me to do certain things. He may not be asking me to give birth to His only Son. But He asks me to compliment the lady next to me in line at Starbucks. He asks me to put my phone down and talk to my parents for a while. He asks me to write songs about what I’m feeling and He asks me to send texts to friends who are struggling to tell them I’m praying for them and He asks me to remember as many birthdays as possible. And I like to think that when I say yes to those little things He asks me to do, I am making at least somewhat of an impact on the world. Nowhere near the tidal wave of an impact that Mary made, but maybe a little ripple. I don’t consider myself brave in any way, and I don’t consider myself to be someone who constantly answers “yes” to God’s calls. But I’m striving to be. As the song says, “I’m just a girl, nothing more / but I am willing, I am Yours.” That’s what I want to be. I want to be open to whatever God has for me. I want to allow Him to use me to change and to help other people. I want to answer “yes” to whatever He calls me to do, and I will not allow fear or anxiety to hold me back.

So tomorrow, when you’re opening your presents and drinking your coffee and doing whatever else you or your family does on Christmas, I want to encourage you to do something. I want to encourage you to be quiet for a minute and try to hear what God is calling you to do. He could be calling you to bring cookies to the lady next door who has no one to celebrate Christmas with. He could be calling you to clean up all the wrapping paper off the floor so your mom doesn’t have to. He could be calling you to turn your phone off and forget about what everyone else is doing for a little while. But whatever it is He’s calling you to do, I hope you’ll think about that 14-year-old girl in Bethlehem 2000 years ago, holding a newborn baby in her trembling arms, and I hope you’ll say yes to His call. A few weeks ago, God called me to start a blog and to begin sharing my story with other people. I am incredibly glad that I said yes.

Merry Christmas to you and everyone you love. God loves you more than you will ever know!



2 thoughts on “Why the “Magic of Christmas” Doesn’t Have to Die

  1. Caroline- this is Susan- mom to Hayden and Hallie from Gulf Breeze- we met at the condo this summer. Anyway- just wanted to say how beautiful this was and how true- so well written. It really is weird when you are transitioning from being a kid to grown up and figuring out what Christmas is really all about- but when you do it becomes even that more special. We were just talking about this yesterday. You hit the nail on the head- I’m going to make sure my kids read this. I love following you and am proud of you. Keep shining!! Hope to see y’all again this summer!


    • Hey Miss Susan! Wow… Thank you so much! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to read this. I hope y’all had a merry Christmas and hopefully we will see y’all again this summer! Thank you again so much, God bless!


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