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Christmas Article 16

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									16. What Makes Christmas Magical
      Christmas is a special time of the year for the joy and intangible
magic
that fills the season. It comes through in the delightful decorations,
glorious
get-togethers with family and friends and the sheer feeling of joy one
gets from
giving and receiving gifts.
      Although the commercialization of Christmas is often decried,
shopping is
an important and central activity to some of the intangible magic of
Christmas.
It is at the malls or downtown stores that some of the favorite sights,
sounds
and scents of Christmas can be experienced.
      The decorations at Malls and retail establishments are usually very
fanciful and eye-catching, especially to children, with the many colorful
and
twinkling lights. It's also a wonder for both adults and children alike
to look
at the numerous tinsels, baubles and figurines such as fairies, angels
and
little babies that adorn the main Christmas tree in the center of
shopping malls
and others in department stores. These trees are usually extremely well
embellished with decorations that are arranged in a very professional way
that
most shoppers can't replicate in their own homes. It's therefore a
delight for
them to stare at such trees in wonder and amazement.
      Along with the wide variety of decorations in retail
establishments, there
also is the sound of music playing, bells ringing, the laughter and
wishes of
Merry Christmas from shoppers that also create a special atmosphere and
add to
the magic of Christmas. Even the sound of cash registers in the
background adds
something to the special feeling shoppers have at Christmas time.
      And of course there's always a Santa Claus that children can meet
and tell
what they want for Christmas, and also have their picture taken.
Sometimes Santa
Claus may distribute Christmas gifts to children, telling them that
because they
have been very, very good they are getting an extra special early
Christmas
present.
      The ability to delight children by telling them stories about Santa
Claus,
as well as making them see and talk to the jolly old fellow, puts a lot
of magic
and excitement into Christmas. Once the tradition is started, or from the
first
time that children have been told the story, it becomes something that
they look
forward to every year during the Christmas season.
      There's also the sound of music from choirs or school groups who
often
give open performances singing Christmas carols and songs in malls and
downtown
areas of towns. Families and others who are out and about will pause to
listen
or to sing along with these groups.
Shopping is undoubtedly an enjoyable activity for most people during
Christmas,
but merrier and more memorable times are enjoyed when time is spent with
family,
friends and colleagues during the season. Before Christmas Day arrives,
there
usually are parties at home and at work, an evening out with friends and
other
occasions to get together and share the spirit of Christmas. The presence
of
special Christmas music and people dressed in holiday attire provide a
different
atmosphere and contribute to the magical feeling of the season.
      Another thing that is different at Christmas is the scent from a
fresh
Christmas tree, of gingerbread and other cookies baking and other food
preparations that are specially done at Christmas time. Most people who
select a
real Christmas tree instead of an artificial one for their homes do so
because
of the wonderful scent it provides. For many people, that scent from a
Christmas
tree is what puts Christmas into everything else.
      Another popular scent at Christmas comes from the popular Christmas
song
'Chestnuts Roasting Over an Open Fire.' The actual roasting of chestnuts
by
families during the Christmas season may be a rare occurrence these days
but it
is occasionally done in some downtown areas and in bakeries and
confectioneries
that make fresh products everyday.
All these events, activities, happenings, sights, sounds and scents of
Christmas
and the holidays create special and unforgettable memories. And who can
deny
that a pleasant memory is always something that is truly magical.

								
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