I was in my second hour of shoveling. My toes were crippling, my hands were frozen and my neck was suffocating from all the layers I was wearing. I looked at the driveway that my little sister and I were trying to uncover and realized how little progress we made. I was so angry. This wasn't the fluffy snow that we thought it would be. Shoveling this wasn't easy. As I forced my shovel under the snow, struggling to lift it up, my neighbors ran out of their house across from mine and screamed, "Snow!" Their tiny faces were lit up with excitement as they jumped into their white yard, I could almost see the magic in their eyes. They were happy and enjoying themselves in the snow while I had nothing but ill words for it, aching every bone in my body. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to love the snow again. It's strange, because I always wish for snow. I love how beautiful it looks on the trees, and the comfort it gives to the neighborhoods, but once the snow comes, I just want it to go away. The truth is I don't want the snow to leave, I just want to be a child again with no shoveling responsibilities.

When I was a child, I genuinely thought that I saw Santa Clause outside of my window on Christmas Eve one year. I don't think I've ever been more giddy in my life. I've always been the best sleeper but when I was a kid on Christmas Eve, it was like my eyes were glued open. The excitement overtook my brain, that it was so hard to fall asleep. The next morning I would run down the stairs still full of energy, jump into my sisters bed to wake her up, and gaze at all of the amazing presents. It should be known that growing up my parents never wrapped our Christmas gifts. They said that they had to "pay extra" for Santa to wrap them. Of course I believed them. I never knew the magic of opening gifts, but I always knew the magic in finding all of my toys already opened ready for me to play with.

Now that I'm older, Christmas is different. It's still my favorite holiday and I look forward to it like nothing else, but some of the magic is gone. There is nothing special about going to the mall with my mom and picking out my own presents. Waking up Christmas morning isn't the same because I'm not getting toys anymore, I can't play with all my presents once I see them. It's a weird feeling to look at the gifts and thank my parents for spending so much money on my sisters and me. It's honestly sad to think about how Santa Clause, the man you always looked up to as a child, is really a VISA credit card. I'm grateful for everything I've been given over the years but now I realize that Christmas and holidays are about spending time with your family, and less about the presents and decorations. The magic is temporary but family is forever.

If there's one thing I'm excited for in the future though, it's having my own children. With children comes magic. I will be able to play in the snow again and keep up the same facade of Santa Clause that my parents once did. Of course I will still have to shovel as I keep growing older, but at least there will be some magic in my house.