I remember the day I discovered there was no Santa Claus. I was about seven years old when my mom told my aunt I no longer believed in him (even though I secretly did). My aunt responded, “Don’t tell your cousin, he doesn’t know yet.”

My heart sank. I was at the age where I was starting to see the strings holding up the balloons at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, when magic shows didn’t seem so magical anymore. But I was simultaneously hoping that mystery, magic and fantasy were still out there, I just hadn’t found it yet.

It’s that same desire that fuels us to create New Year’s resolutions every year–the belief that merely writing what we want can miraculously make them appear. It’s also why we’re drawn to articles on happiness and longevity like the ones below. There is an inner child in all of us that still wants to believe in the unknown-that just like in the movies a snap of a finger, a wish with eyes close, a new diet, a juicer, a smartphone will suddenly make our lives better and everything we want will suddenly come true.

The good news is that real change will last long after we’ve opened and gotten bored with that sought after Christmas gift. You can, for example, learn how to create your own magic by working on mastering envy or engaging in activities to make you happy. Maybe it’s not the magic wand you wanted when you were a kid, but trust me, this gift’s much better.

Envy and Your Creative Life

(The Creative Mind) – We don’t like to talk about it. But it happens. When it comes to creativity, experiencing envy is par for the course. What’s lesser known, however, are the benefits that come with jealousy. If you’ve been feeling green with envy recently, learn to transform it into your own treasure trove.

Does Happiness Come from the Top-down or Bottom-up?

(Adventures in Positive Psychology) – Although we all have a happiness set point, there is still a lot we can do to improve our situation. This post lists two theories to help you increase your joy and gain greater happiness in 2012.

Post Holiday Angst and Anxiety

(Angst in Anxiety) – The holidays can be overwhelming not just for you, but for your kids too. Instead of taking their indifference, boredom or grumpiness personally, try the strategies listed here.

Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler

(Mindfulness & Psychotherapy) – Fearful of flying? If you’re afraid of traveling this holiday, a tip shared by e-book author and blogger Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. may help.

Is Personality The Secret To Long Life?

(Therapy Soup) – Everyone wants to know the secrets to a long life. But is there really a single secret or a magical antidote to keep you living a long time? Guess you’ll have to read this one to find out.