Well, I guess that's it, Christmas is over for another year, another Christmas has been and has gone, another Christmas past. All the excitement, all the build up, all the anticipation, then as if in the blinking of an eye it is simply a memory. I hope yours was a good one.
Of course the evidence of Christmas is still to be seen. The bins were lining the street this morning, lids gaping open, stuffed to overflowing with wrapping paper and the discarded trappings of an over indulgent two days. Empty cardboard boxes stood beside some bins advertising the fact that these houses now contained brand new TV's, Xboxes, computers and the like, "Attention burglars - these are the one's to break into." And of course you may be one of the parents who marvelled at how the young children played for hours with the boxes that the very expensive presents came in. How many of you said "next year we will just buy empty boxes."
Up and down streets throughout the land, boys and girls ride on bright new shiny bikes, play with radio controlled cars, try to stay upright on skates and pogo sticks, ride scooters. Behind closed doors, children and adults play with new toys, games, gadgets, and gizmos so numerous and diverse to be beyond mention. So The magic of Christmas does continue long past that short festive break.
I still remember some of that magic from my own childhood, from my own Christmases of the past. I well remember the time I received a Triang electric train set. It was a "Princess Elizabeth" locomotive with two maroon and cream passenger cars, I think I may also have received some extra track at the same time. I certainly added extra track, goods wagons, a crane and an additional Loco in subsequent years as gifts at Christmas and probably birthdays. Fifty years later I still have that train set, it is somewhere in my loft and this has reminded me that I must find it, bring it back to life and play with it.
As a young boy I did not see a lot of my dad, he was always working. It would normally be bedtime either before or soon after he got home. At weekends he had to work most Saturday and Sunday mornings so Christmas was special because he was at home and he got to play with me.
I guess these memories are probably the most wonderful gifts I have received over the years. Memories of my childhood, then of the special times when my own children were young and the time I had with them, playing with their new toys and being close together as a family. These are the true gifts that last for ever, these are the true magic of the Christmas past.