The First Gift of Christmas

Seeing Isn't Always Believing

My Polar Express Story

87
Seeing Isn't Always Believing
Instagram

As long as I can remember, slumping into the couch and indulging in a good Christmas movie has always been one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. Whether it was with my friends or family, there was just something about the comfort of the Christmas spirit left lingering in the room. The list of favorites goes on and on, and the amount of times you can watch does not exist.

However just as we see in the Christmas movies themselves, as age increases, Christmas spirit can decrease. The dreaded age of saying goodbye to believing comes around before you know it. Looking back as a college student, my heart aches for the time of innocence where myself and everyone around me seemed to believe.

Being a middle child, I was the second to last to know, and the second to last to not know. My brother is only two years older than me so when he stopped believing, I was not too far behind. However, I obviously I had no idea.

The Polar Express has always been a family favorite of mine. The beautiful story of having the ability to hear Santa's sleigh bells, but only if you believe, swallowed up our hearts each and every watch. Each Christmas Eve, I dreamed of the Polar Express pulling up to my own driveway, ready to take me away to the North Pole. I would even pick out my best Christmas PJs in hopes that Santa himself would see them. All I wanted was the first gift of Christmas, a sleigh bell of my own. However, one Christmas was different.

As we were opening presents, my brother had one extra than all of us addressed from Santa. As he opened it up, it appeared to be something small yet valuable in a white and red striped case. My little sister and I wiggled in our seats to see what he was so lucky to get–and strangely enough we were not. As he opened the box, a bell just like the one from The Polar Express appeared. My sister and I gasped. He had gotten THE sleigh bell. Jealous, we whined and wished that we too received the bell. I immediately made my brother ring the bell and danced for joy when I heard the extraordinary ring. I asked my mom if she too could hear the bell. I remember my brother and mum exchanging a solemn look which confused me because I was so excited for him. Little did I know, my mother was starting a tradition.

Two years went by, and I soon opened up the same bell. Now my little sister was the only one feeling left out.

"WHEN DO I GET ONE?"

The same solemn look was exchanged by myself and my mum. In that moment, I realized the tradition. When one stops believing, they receive the bell. Just to withhold whatever spirit could possibly be left. I can remember my sister asking when she would get one. She asked if "fifth grade was the year." Sadly, I responded "maybe."

It all hit me at once. Only two years ago, I was so innocent. I thought Santa had just forgotten about me. I thought that my brother was the lucky winner. In reality, I was the real winner. I still believed.

Five years later, my sister finally received the bell. Being the baby of the family, no one wanted her to stop believing because then, there was the fear that the true Christmas spirit in the household was gone. It was unsaid, but so well known. Upon opening her final gift, we all sat and explained the tradition to her. The room was quiet. I could tell my mum was holding back a tear.

Despite the age, there can always be Christmas spirit. My mum chose a way to preserve our Christmas spirit forever. To think what she must have felt in her heart purchasing bell after bell is so sad yet so touching. This Christmas season, I remember the innocence and the happiness I once had and attempt to preserve. I am forever grateful for the tradition my mum brought upon us. But lets make sure we always continue to spread the cheer and joy every Christmas deserves. Just because the belief isn't there, doesn't mean the spirit has to disappear as well. After all, seeing isn't believing.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.

NBC

From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments