Wishes, Snow, Lights, and Gifts of Magic for the Season

Dear Friends:


Our guest contributor today is Fr. Daniel Rolland, someone who has been a part of our Magic & Mystery School community for many, many years. He is a delightful performer who uses his magic in the context of his ministry to young adults, currently at the Newman Center on the Campus of UNLV. We are delighted to have him share his thoughts here for the first time.


From Fr. Daniel:


Father Daniel


December seems a most magical time with its traditions, memories and fantasies. You might be all booked up, or perhaps you are planning something special for the office party. Your friends, family and community need your magic this December. Look for the opportunities to make some magic happen as a gift for them, and for you. No excuses – the month will be over, and the year ended before you know it. Will you bring magic or not?


I wish my musings on December might serve to inspire you for a season full of magic. Make a wish. The holidays are filled with wishes. People are making lists filled with them. Children are encouraged to make them. Adults will exchange them with each other. “We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.” It seems both seasonal and magical to offer people wishes. Wishes are the simple act of desiring something, or wanting reality to be a certain way. Make a wish on a candle flame, on a lucky pen–on the ace of diamonds. Put it under your pillow, or store it in a private special place and see what magic happens. 


Maybe you can catch a wish like a dream catcher, or in the palm of your hand. Maybe it materializes in the form of a clear marble or a golden feather charm. Remember that wishes are delicate. Be careful with people’s wishes–don’t have people make wishes and then laugh at them or dash their hopes. Believe in the wish. It is where some of the magic lives.


Abbi Bubble


Some kids wish for snow. Snow can be magical too–particularly the first snow, light and delicate, transformative and seemingly coming out of thin air. Like a gentle breeze blown across your fist, you can make wet and slushy snow, appear in your palm, and that would be magic! The snow you make can be like adapting Dan Harlan’s “Starcle” to a snowflake, reminding people that they too are unique and wondrous. 


Breathe on a glass as if it’s cold outside to reveal a card, or rest an etched glass over hot cocoa. The fact that you can make Ice or snow appear is amazing, and unless you are presenting yourself like an X-men hero, you may have to ask yourself (and let your audience know) why you are doing it. Just because you can, may not make it your greatest achievement. What is it about the person, the season, the place where you are, that make you do what you do in your magic?


Taking lights off a lit tree or wreath and bringing the light to a child’s forehead can be mind-blowing for the child. With all the lights that are twinkling in bright red and green–and a lot more colors this year–it might be a shame not to do something with lights. Michael’s has lights to add to your sweaters. You can find lights in ice cubes and packages. I once floated a light over an audience to make a Christmas fairy come to life. Go with a friend to the park and have a D’lite-ful time–pass a light to one another giving shoppers rushing home a treasured moment they can share.  “Star light, Star bright.” Give a bit of starlight to your participants. Is light something to hold, or contain? Is it to be shared, perhaps a gift–or symbolic of something deeper and more meaningful? Is it the light from Rudolph’s nose, or one of the Match Girl’s wishes? Whatever the source of the light and whatever you do with it, try to bring more light into the world during this darkest time of the year.



Let your imagination go wild with this season so filled with magic. Create and recreate and perhaps repurpose some old magic that needs to be dusted off and given a new life. Maybe you realize you have too much magic stuff, too many books, tricks or packets–and maybe this is the season to re-gift a bit of magic to a magician friend, a young apprentice, a nephew or niece. A great gift has thought behind it. Match what you give to the person receiving your gift. Will they appreciate the gift or will it become something that sits on their shelf instead of yours?  Finding new homes for old magic is like landing on the Island of Misfit toys. It’s about finding the correct item for the right home—one where it can be appreciated and treasured and used.


In this season of gift giving, it is appropriate for a Magi, Magician or Wizard to gift others through magic. Gift magic (which is its own topic) thrives in the holidays. At the end of a routine or as a surprise to a fellow worker, giving a little gift in a magical way awakens the wonder in us all. With the magic on the tip of your thumb, or the mystery gift wrapped in Buddha wrapping papers, the production of so many gifts at this time is like going from house to house in a flying sleigh. Some of your magic might be for pay, but much can be for pure joy. Perform for those poor people in long lines who would be glad to have a diversion.  Dress as an elf or some Christmas fantasy-being, and bring magic to those in shelters or nursing homes, or the homeless in your streets. Let the magic connect you to your communities, and experience the magic yourself in the eyes of those with whom you share.


Think of the magic you already do, and give it a holiday flare. Do not worry about the perfect venue, time or situation. Get out into the world and give back a bit of the wonder, and a sense of awe that touched your life. Do this and my wish will have come true.


Merry Christmas, Hannukah, and Yule, and a Magical New Year.


Fr. Daniel Rolland 


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