When I was a child, the holidays were always a magical time.  As I have grown up, I have noticed that Christmas just does not seem the same anymore.

Each morning, I bundled up with about six layers before heading out the door for school.  I had a yellow knit hat that had a plastic Big Bird attached at the top.  When I got outside, a crisp breeze would bite at my face.  It felt like Christmas.

At school, we had plays, decorations, Christmas tree cookies, and construction-paper snowflakes.  In the evenings, every house would be lit up with bright lights, wreaths, and lawn decorations.  From the street, you could see each family’s Christmas tree.  There was no escaping it.  It looked like Christmas.

Around the neighborhood, people were lighting their fireplaces with treated wood that had such a great smell to it.  I would walk in the front door of my house and smell apples and cinnamon.  Spices, food, hot apple cider… It smelled like Christmas.

Each and every day just added more and more anticipation.  Sure, I was excited for the winter break from school.  But I was more excited about Christmas coming.  Every kid in the class was sure they knew what their parents were getting them.  In my young mind, this was the best time of the whole year.

As a grown-up, I have noticed that something has changed in me.  Like many people, I work right up to Christmas day.  I avoid the stores and do my Christmas shopping online because I loathe standing in line.  For me, Christmas had lost the magic.  It had lost the wonder.

Let me rephrase: Christmas has not lost anything.  But I did.  I lost that expectation and the excitement of the season.  From the Christmas play at church, to the big family dinner, it started feeling like any other holiday.  I started to ask myself when this changed for me.

When you are a child, you believe in the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, and all sorts of magical creatures.  Children easily believe in things they have never seen because they were born with and maintain a sense of wonder in their heart.  They have great faith.

At some point, those mythical beings are exposed as frauds.  Consequently, the holidays stop feeling so special.  They become just another day where the banks, stores, and offices are closed. Just another day to buy something that is not in the budget. Just another day of lost productivity. Just another day facing a family member that rubs you the wrong way.

But I have made up my mind.  I am restoring the wonder.  I want to embrace the amazing, distinctive, and extraordinary moments that make up this day.  From the sights and sounds, to the tastes and smells… I want to not just experience it.  I want to savor it.

Do you feel like Christmas has turned into more “hustle and bustle” than a season of wonder? What can you do to restore that sense of wonder in your life? Think about those things and let this season go from wonder-less to wonder-full.

by Pastor Jason Frazier

Taken from his book, “Fill in the Blank, Vol. 1 Inspiring Truths in a Busy World” available on Amazon.com