Monday, October 24, 2016

MAKING MAGICAL MOMENTS

Frosty the snowman is a fairy tale, they say,
He was made of snow but the children
Know how he came to life one day.

Do you remember who wrote Frosty the Snowman? It was written in 1950 by Jack Nelson and Steve Rollins, and recorded by Gene Autry. Most of us don’t remember the writer or recorder. We remember Frosty, the character they created. We remember all the fun the children had creating and playing and singing and dancing around town with Frosty.

Frosty the snowman knew
The sun was hot that day,
So he said, "Let's run and
We'll have some fun
Now before I melt away."


Alive as he could be, Frosty knew that his time with the children would be brief and he wasted no time making magical moments with them.

Most of us who live in snow regions have fond childhood memories of time spent playing in the snow:

Building snowmen and snow forts
Making beautiful life size snow angels
Soaring down slippery side streets on slick red saucers
Packing fist sized snowballs to pummel at people passing by

Snow! It has never cost a cent, and has given us so much pleasure. Most of us can’t remember a gift we received five years ago for Christmas, but we can remember playing in the snow with childhood friends.

When my youngest son was 3 years old, Beanie Babies were all the rage. Frosty the Snowman was one of the most sought after toys that year. People may call me pushy for a reason: I pushed passed more than a few shoppers to get one for my child.

On a busy night before Christmas, we joined the masses of holiday shoppers at the mall. I explicitly told my sweet, little cherub to leave Frosty in the car. Oh no! He would not listen to his mama. Buried beneath the boy’s warm winter coat, Frosty was about to embark on an adventure. While I was looking through stacked racks for the perfect presents for important people in our life, and my son was distracted by the sweet candy cane he had just received from Santa, Frosty silently slipped away.

Suddenly, in the sock aisle my son realized his beloved Frosty was missing. Right there in the middle of the mobbed Gifts Galore store, my 3-year old had a meltdown of monumental proportions, screaming at the top of his lungs, making a very unjoyful.

“I WANT MY FROSTY. WAHHHHHH!! GIVE ME MY FROSTY,” he screamed between sobs. Gigantic tears streamed down his face mixing with the sticky, red candy to make his face look like a nasty, half-sucked peppermint spit from a child’s mouth.

Retracing our steps we frantically searched for his treasured toy. It was nowhere to be found. Trying to appease my hysterical child, I dashed to customer service and inquired if anyone turned in a Frosty Beanie Baby. Of course, the answer was, “No.” I thought to myself, “Who would turn in this sought after toy?” Nevertheless, I left my name and phone number with the representative.

A week passed by and Frosty had been forgotten. I was up to my eyeballs wrapping all the perfect presents I purchased for the people we love when the ringing phone interrupted me. Bring-a-ling-a-ling. Bring-a-ling-a-ling.

“Hello, this is Beth,” I answered, tangled in ribbon and tape.

“Hi, Beth. This is Gifts Galore. We found your Beanie Baby,” the voice proclaimed.
Safe and sound! My imagination immediately kicked into over drive. I set out with a plan to rescue Frosty and make a little Christmas magic of my own.

Frosty had been hiding under a rack of clothes and was covered in fuzzy, gray dust bunnies when he was found. I brought the dirty, dusty plush toy home, put him in a big box with his dust bunny friends, and wrapped him for my tiny tot. It was by far the prettiest package under the tree.

On Christmas morning, the presents were handed out. Paper was rapidly ripped and scattered throughout the room. Everyone was excited about all the new toys. But, there was still one beautiful gift beneath the Christmas tree. A package addressed to: Nicholas, my little boy. Hurriedly, he opened the last gift of Christmas that year. Not only did he discover his beloved Frosty, but also a note that read:

“Dear Nicholas, the next time obey your mama
and leave your toys in the car. Love, Santa.”

If I hadn’t taken the time to make this magical, memorable moment Frosty would be long forgotten, like all the other Beanie Babies we purchased that year. He now has a prominent and permanent place on our Christmas tree, and my child has the priceless gift of a lasting memory; a story about Santa, obedience and Frosty that he will fondly tell his children some day.

A few years later when my son was an anxious middle-school student, a classmate had suddenly passed away just before the holidays. Upset by this tragic loss in his life, I was teaching him the importance of living in the moment. “Tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone. Live a balanced life. Learn some and work some and play some every day. Do your best and be kind to everyone. Make the most of every day.”

The next day, we received a phone call saying that his Nanny had passed away. In the car that night he asked, “Mom, did you know yesterday when we were talking that Nanny was going to die?”
“Of course not,” I said. “But, I do know that every day is a gift to be lived to the fullest. You don’t know when you will breathe your last breath, or when I will. Like Frosty the Snowman, she and your classmate have melted away, and all we have to carry with us are the memories we made with them along the way.”

This Christmas, I want to challenge you to lighten up, and laugh and play with your family and friends. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Run around and have some fun making magical, memorable moments that will be talked about for years to come. Do the things you love. Spend your time, money, and energy on things that your loved ones will be talking about five years from now. Suddenly, people we love move on and careers come to an end. Our children grow up and their trinkets end up in the trash. Song writers and recording artists aren’t remembered. Presents are forgotten – I can’t remember one thing I got last year for Christmas. Memories are a priceless gift that last forever. Make a lot of them and have yourself a merry, little Christmas time.

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