I guess posting my wishes to everybody comes a bit late, but I’m okay with that. The holiday season in the U.S. isn’t over, so I’m more posting in the midst of it. In the midst of some decent memories, I do have one that sticks out. I’m feeling a bit loquacious due to a rather stiff drink of Kraken rum and Coke, and due to my wife already being in bed, I’m compelled to write instead.
Due to being sick, my wife and I missed the yearly Christmas Eve party at my grandfather’s house. It was a bit of a bummer for us, and on my side, I was looking to drag whatever poor souls that were willing to watch to a magic show I had prepared. In a house that was probably crowded when my grandparents were raising their five kids, we have a good time with the 30-40 family members that congregate there each year. It’s packed, young children run around like mad, and it is absolute, beautiful chaos. Missing it really did leave me bummed. In this case, though, instead of being on Christmas Eve, it was done on the Sunday before.
We had arranged to go to see my family on Christmas Day once I called them to tell them we wouldn’t be there for the party, but later decided to go on Christmas Eve so we would be able to stay later without dealing with having to leave early from visiting to be ready for work the next day and decided to see my grandfather before going to my parents. And this is where my story really starts.
We went to see Grandpa and had a wonderful time talking to him. I’ve mentioned before (jasonstackmagician.com/2013/11/24/probably-my-favorite-performance-yet) how much esteem I hold my grandfather in, and when my beloved and I visited him, we had a wonderful time chatting, catching up and reminiscing and just enjoying each others’ company. Of course, after his response to me performing magic for him on the last visit, I brought stuff for my act along.
When I figured it was time, I asked if he minded seeing my latest bit that I had been working on and he was very happy to see it. I realized while performing the routine that I had not rehearsed it as many times as I should, and I was glad for the test run, but we all had a great time. After I had done the bit, we started talking and Grandpa told us how his favorite piece of magic was always the Linking Rings, so I performed my routine for him again. And really, as the Linking Rings are my favorite piece of magic, it felt wonderful to know that I shared that in common with someone who I held in such great esteem. With the discussion we had afterwards, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face when I was done.
See, I think that when I perform magic, I’m back to being a kid again. Michele can tell how happy the experience makes me each time I perform, whether it’s been for a small group or running an act over and over again for a festival. One of the major magic suppliers has a motto of “Born to Perform,” and that sums up the experience of performing magic for me. Whether for a group or for a single person, when I perform, the smile plastered to my face is not forced. It’s as genuine as any smile I’ve ever had and lingers long after I’ve packed up my kit and come home.
The icing on the cake for me, though, was what came after. Now, the last time I performed for Grandpa, I noted how his eyes were wide open the entire time I went through my routine, and I got that again. The little, but oh, so substantial, gift I got this time was this: As I fumbled to lock the door behind me on my way out, I heard my grandfather whistling a tune. Seriously, I couldn’t ask for a better Christmas gift than that. That one is going to stay with me for a long time.