From a distance, the holidays always appear so peaceful, like viewing the river from a canyon's rim. From a distance, you see only a gentle winding back and forth. You can't wait to get down there and relax your way through.

Then suddenly it's December. The river's here, and not looking so peaceful up close. With churning and yearning it's roaring right past. You stop to think and maybe even reconsider, but the kids are already screaming past, right into the current. You hear giggle's of delight as the rapids rocket them down the stream.

Suddenly you're running in a headlong struggle to keep your footing on the rough terrain, snapping pictures all the way. But the water's too fast. You're losing site of the kids and their smiles. So you give up the chase and you jump headlong. The water swallows.

And in a flash, you're back together. The scenery flickers by as you're rushed from one party to the next. The hugs and hellos, the kisses and candy moving faster and faster like a wrapping paper dream.

And you realize the magic of giving up control, of giving yourself over to the Rapidays as they pull you through a land of magic and dream. The parties flow like lemondrops as high above the chimney tops you find yourself flying with childlike wonder once more.