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When does the magic stop?

The Cleary family is currently in the midst of an intense debate about Christmas stockings.

My parents say it’s the final year my brother, my sister and I are getting our seasonal stockings filled up.

The bottom line is that we are all functioning adults in our 20s, and according to Mum, “it’s getting a bit ridiculous”.

I’m perfectly fine with this, as I’m the mature, wisest elder sibling.

But my younger brother of five years has taken major issue and is arguing that some type of “phase out” system should be put in place or – God forbid – I would have had five extra years of stockings than him.

Mum’s argument is that he’s currently in the middle of a summer internship and that that marks a stepping stone into True Adulthood, a place where you are no longer eligible for a stocking and have to learn about things such as tax and fending for yourself.

Obviously, we are incredibly fortunate that this is the main debate at the table come the Yuletide season, because it’s not been an easy year, and Christmas time can compound that for many.

But it’s also made me nostalgic for that fog of magic which surrounds the Christmas season for children, drawn to the glittering allure of mystery [and presents].  

Prepping milk and cookies for Santa the evening before, leaving stockings at the foot of the bed and then tossing and turning with that feeling of anticipation – we’ve all been there at some point, and there comes a time when the illusion shifts.

I actually considered whether to write this editorial due to a slightly traumatic childhood incident, where I found out the truth about ol’ Mr Claus by glimpsing a newspaper article left out on the dining table which touched on the history behind Santa.  

How ironic that, in a strange full-circle moment, I am the one now writing about the magic of Christmas for a local newspaper.

Wairarapa is currently in the middle of Christmas parades and celebrations, with a multitude of events happening in each district.

It’s hard not to crack a grin seeing Masterton’s Queen St decked out in wreaths and lights, and its parade the other weekend had a record 35 floats and thousands of people attending.

Saturday saw Featherston and Martinborough’s parades successfully launch under a sweltering sun, with folks from far and wide attending to gather and be merry.

Carterton’s Christmas parade yesterday didn’t get as lucky with the weather, with organisers sadly having to pull the plug because of wind and rain.

The call to cancel would have been difficult, as all these events take an immense amount of prep and organisation to pull together, courtesy of many volunteered hours from tireless community members.

A major thank you is in order to the people who make it all happen, and whom I hope also get the opportunity to revel in Christmas magic, boring adult administration aside.

With local events like these, it’s hard not to feel some childlike joy about Christmas.

To do my part, if anyone needs me on the 25th I’ll be in the kitchen, avoiding responsibility with a mimosa in hand and the Fairytale of New York blasting from the speakers.      


Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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