First-Time Magic

“In every beginning, there lives a bit of magic,” Hermann Hesse once wrote. It’s true. For example, I’ll never forget the first time I saw this line. It was in a tiny booklet my best friend gave me when we graduated high school.

“First-pack magic” is what Nick and other Pokétubers pray for every time they sit down to open another stack of booster packs filled with Pokémon cards. There’s nothing quite as special as the first pack in a video, the first pack of a set, the first pack you’ve ever opened. It’s what made you — and continues to make you — a collector.

Find trailers and clips of a movie classic on Youtube, and inevitably, you’ll see this comment appear again and again: “I wish could watch this movie again for the first time.” Each time Batman shows up out of nowhere, it feels a different kind of awesome — and while we can learn something new again and again, it never quite reaches the special place our first viewing holds in our hearts.

Out of all days in the year, Christmas offers perhaps the most unique kind of first-time magic. Based on the first appearance of a special fellow, it is filled with awareness of the old year inevitably ending — but it also already brims with January 1st’s potential. It might be the first time we see our family all year, the first time a new member joins, or at least the first time without snow, without grandpa falling asleep, or where the Christmas tree falls over. Each present is a first, and so is each of the one-too-many meals we’ll eat surrounded by our loved ones.

For me, this year, the most precious Christmas-firsts are the ones I observe my girlfriend gets to have. Watching her marvel at the first drop of 50 cm of snow, the food selection at her first Christmas market, and the crisps she pulls from her advent calendar are all a kind of first in their own right: When you do together what you once used to do alone, sharing only multiplies the joy and happiness. That, too, is a first worth celebrating — and not just on Christmas.

Pay attention to your firsts, and remember: Every day offers the space to create more of them — if only you’ll supply a bit of magic.