The Magic of Mary Poppins Returns on Christmas Day

We’re on the brink of an adventure children – don’t spoil it with questions! 

Mary Poppins

Grandpa Ted and Grandma Rosemary
As a child I was an old soul. And when I say old, I mean OLD. When I was three, I believed there was no Santa Claus because the ones at the grocery stores and mall all looked different. By the time I was in fifth and sixth grade I no longer wanted to sit with the kids at family gatherings, because they were childish to me. So, I would always hang out with the adults. I always thought having an old soul was a good thing. It meant you were mature and wiser than everyone else your age. That the adults respected you. But as I’ve grown older, I have started to wonder – what does the term “old” soul really mean? In the past several years I have realized an age is just a number. It doesn’t dictate how you act or what you are capable of doing. It does not dictate that you are required lose your sense of wonder, your sense of awe. I remember as a 20-year-old sitting at my grandma’s table being surprised, when thunder roared so loud it shook the house, that my grandma’s sparkly blue eyes lit up as her small mouth formed into an “O” as she murmured, “Wow.” It is a memory I always thought was cute and funny, but now as I sit at the table on Christmas day, living out the last few days of my 37th year, I realize it was her showing me that you are never too old to be moved with amazement from a thunderstorm. Or anything for that matter.

Some of the people who inspire me the most are those who live in a 60 something year old body but have the spirit of a child. 

One thing I remember my grandparents loving was old musicals. They never grew tired of seeing the same movie over and over again. As a child one of my fond memories was of watching Mary Poppins at their house. I have always thought it was a more kid friendly musical because of the cartoon scene and the children in the cast. Which is why, I showed it to my daughter when she was 2 and 3 years old. So, when I heard Mary Poppins Returns was coming out, I knew it would be an appropriate movie to take my son, who’s 3 and daughter, now 7, to see on Christmas Day. As the movie started, I skeptically asked myself, this movie is definitely not going to do any justice to the original Mary Poppins, will it? (Mind you it is a sequel and not a remake.) As the movie progressed, I realized one piece of advice that Mary gave at the beginning of the movie, “We’re on the brink of an adventure children – don’t spoil it with questions!” was something I should take to heart. So, I sat, with both children cuddled up next to me, for two and a half hours, allowing myself to be transported to a deep sea ocean dive at the bottom of a bathtub, a trip in a wagon driven by a cartoon dog (why not?) along the road on a antique bowl, and floating, being held up by a single balloon, above the city. There was much laughter and some tears as I watched the adult Banks children rediscover what it meant to look at life through the eyes of a child. At the very end of the film the balloon lady (aside: I will not spoil it by telling you who she was played by, but she was fabulous), with eyes as bright and blue as my grandma’s that day at the kitchen table, looked up at Mary Poppins and said, “But tomorrow I suppose the grownups will forget.” Mary Poppins looked at her knowingly, “They always do.” But the thing is, they don’t have to. They don’t have to suddenly overnight develop an “old soul.” Some of the people who inspire me the most are those who live in a 60 something year old body but have the spirit of a child. 
I Love It When She Laughs
And oddly enough, that is what much of Christmas is about. It’s about having your 40-year-old uncle pull out a remote-controlled airplane and flying it around his living room while the children surround him, laughing and begging for a turn to operate it. It’s about a 60 something year old aunt giggling with her niece about a completely inappropriate joke. It’s about a mom, who is now a grandma, decorating her walker with colorful battery-operated star lights even though she is stuck using it over the holidays. It’s about this mom, pretending to be asleep when her seven-year-old comes in, whispering to Dada that Santa Claus came last night and actually wrote a letter to her (penned by the right hand of said mom) and the mom laughing to herself in quiet glee that her daughter believed Santa cared enough to write her a note.

Something else Mary Poppins Returns taught me is this is magic doesn’t have to be contained to Christmas or any special day of the year. This magic and wonder, the ability to put into practice, “When the world turns upside down, the best is to turn right along with it,” can happen any time. Because that’s what a baby did in Bethlehem so many years ago. And I imagine the shepherds were laughing to themselves that night, with child-like amazement, “If God is bringing the Savior of all of humanity to us through a baby in a manger in Bethlehem, anything is possible.”

Anything is possible, even the impossible! 

Mary Poppins

Which is something Mary Poppins would agree with. Anything is possible. “Even the impossible!” Even a 37-year-old being reminded of the true spirit of Christmas, well of life actually, through a “kid’s” musical on Christmas Day. So, when the magic hits you, when you suddenly see through the eyes of a child, don’t block it, don’t question your sanity, just let it take over you. You never know. You may be a 90 something Dick Van Dyke doing a dance on an office desk in big screens across the world. Who knows? Anything is possible.

(Even a writer, who hasn’t written a blog in a year and a half, actually being inspired to write one on Christmas day, of all days – go figure.)
My Sister In Law Got This For My Mom. Super Sweet and Creepy All At The Same Time.

I Found This Gem After Our Christmas Get Together

I Was Supposed to Crop This, But I Think Its Hysterical None Of Us Have Shoes On.


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