Making Magic by Naomi Kinsman (November Theme)

Ever since I was a little girl, the start of November always marks an internal shift for me. I wake up each morning with this fizzy excitement inside--I feel surprises looming on the horizon.

Of course, the beginning of November meant that Christmas was just around the corner. In my family, Christmas wasn't about wrapped gifts under the tree. Sometimes I sat with a catalog and circled items with hope sparking in my heart. But more importantly, Christmas was the day dreams came true. Magic always happened. Every year, this magic looked different. One year, I dreamed of being an actress all year, but ran into dead end after dead end. That Christmas, my parents gave me everything I needed to create plays with friends at home, a box of costumes, set pieces, and props. The impossible would come true on Christmas, and after a while, I came to expect miracles.

On the flip side, I took to heart my own responsibility for making magic. I would find the one thing that I could give my parents that would show them, truly, how much I loved them. For instance, a book filled with pictures and memories of our year, or a poem penned for them, or a fairy tale starring them as the main character, written and illustrated by yours truly.

As you can imagine, making magic required a huge investment of time in the months leading up to Christmas. But I loved every part of it, the planning, the creation, the final product, and of course, the look of astonishment and joy on my parents' faces when they opened their gifts. As for the magic they made for me... well, I guess that was about hope. I believed, and I still do, that during this one season, when we all take time to think about one another more than we think of ourselves, situations shift. Roadblocks melt away, and new possibilities abound.

My dreams are bigger now and they feel like a further reach. But even so, I have already felt the sparks of magic popping up around me. It comes in an email from a friend who writes, "I found this small business counseling program that I think might help make your program for young writers thrive." It comes in an unexpectedly free day on which I can sit and work on that novel that's percolating around in my heart. It comes in the thrilling idea for a gift for a friend which catches my fancy and sends me into a creative frenzy.

Look around... you might be astonished where magic pops up for you. And take some time to make some magic for someone else, too. A very little goes an awfully long way.


  1. Love this, Naomi--it's most important, I think, to take the time to make a little magic for others...


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