Our daughter Ally was four years old, and it was Christmas Eve. The stockings were hung (on the chair – no chimney in our little basement apartment). The cookies were baked, carefully arranged on a plate, and set out for Santa with a glass of milk and a letter (and a carrot for the reindeer). There were bedtime stories, hugs and kisses as Ally and her older sister, Laurel, age six, snuggled into their quilts with cautions to, “Stay in bed, or Santa can’t come!”
Some time in the middle of that dark, quiet wintery night, Ally woke up, as four-year-olds will do, and faced a dilemma. She really needed to get up and go to the bathroom, but what about Santa? After struggling with her choice, she finally crept out of bed.
Now there were a number of interesting architectural features which suggested that this particular apartment had not been finished by a professional. One of these was that to get from the bedroom to the bathroom you had to walk through the closet, with clothes hanging on both sides. As it was every night, the door to the bathroom was cracked open just a bit and the faint gleam of the nightlight showed the way.
Ally stepped into the closet/hall and there it was! An elf! Right there in her closet. She saw it with her own eyes! A moment of panic, then she scampered back to bed, pulled the blankets up over her head, and lay as still as a mouse, a desperate mouse who really needed to go to the bathroom! Who knows what time this actually happened, but in her mind, she then spent the WHOLE NIGHT awake and in fear that she had been spotted and ruined Christmas!
But joy, in the morning, the sun rose, and Christmas had come, with presents and bows and happy smiles. Over hot cocoa and fresh scones, Ally recounted her adventure with the elf, cementing her knowledge that Christmas and Santa and Elves were real. The years went by; she and her sister and their friends grew up. The rest of them started to debate whether Santa was real, but Ally knew and did not waver. After all, she had seen his elf. There was no debate.
Eventually we had that mother – daughter talk and Ally was promoted to Elf and commissioned to help her little sister Michelle experience the magic of Christmas and Santa and his wonderful Elves.
Whatever your faith or practices or circumstances this crazy year, we hope you find ways to bring alive the magic of giving and sharing, of hope and belief in the goodness of warm hearts and warm memories in your home this season.
Greetings of the Season,
Anne and Calvert
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