It’s tough to believe in magic when we grow up. As adults (once we understand the sleight of hand that robs us of our imagination) the fascination in all things mystical can easily evaporate. Christmas is one of those times when, if we’re not careful, we can let all the pressure and craziness of the holidays eat us up as fast as Santa can devour a plate of cookies.
But, after you’ve done all the baking, decorating, shopping, spending, wrapping, planning and coordinating, Christmas morning comes and even though it lasts for a mere five minutes, you sit back, (maybe pour a little Bailey’s in your coffee), and take it all in. When everything you put in to this one day pays off in the form of a laugh and smile, that’s when you realize that maybe the magic never really left—you just needed to find it in a different way.
Though I tend to lose my sanity more than once during the holidays, the letter below is how the magic returned to my house on Christmas morning this year. It made me believe not only in the big guy who wears the red suit, but in the spirit that’s still alive in all of us if we give it a chance to grow (no matter how old we are).
Happy Holidays from my house to yours! (And stay sane out there!)
I know you might be a little disappointed that there isn’t a kitten under your Christmas tree this year, but I wanted to let you know that it wasn’t because your name landed on the naughty list. The real reason is because I just couldn’t find the right fit for your family in time for Christmas. You see, there’s lots of needy pets out there that need forever homes, and though I know you really want a munchkin kitten, I was busy working on finding homes for the ones who needed it most. But, when the right cat comes along (and when the time is right) I’ll make sure a kitten finds his or her way to you. Until then, I want you to take very special care of Quinn, Harper and Winslow. They’re very lucky to have a home like yours, and you are very lucky to have them, too.
The second thing I wanted to tell you was that even though you don’t know how to play this guitar yet, I have no doubt that if you put your mind to it, you’ll learn how in no time. (Plus, your mom told me that she really wants to learn how to play too, so I thought this would be a really fun thing for you two to do together.) Just remember, you don’t have to be great at it! Have fun with it, and let it guide you into becoming the confident and creative person on the outside that I already know you are on the inside. Not so long ago I gave this very same advice to a young girl who grew up on a Christmas tree farm in a town called Reading, Pennsylvania. Just like you, this girl loved animals (especially cats), art, writing and listening to music. She started taking singing lessons when she was 9 years old, she started writing songs when she was 10 years old (even though they weren’t very good back then) and, when she was 12 years old, she learned how to play the guitar. It was hard for her at first, but she stuck with it, and with a little perseverance and A LOT of hard work, that young lady went on to do some pretty cool things. Her name is Taylor Allison Swift and, just like you, there were times when she wanted to give up—but she never did. I’m telling you this story not because I think you should try to be like Taylor, but because I see the joy that music brings you and, just like it did with Taylor, that joy can lead YOU to doing great things, too.
Long before she became a huge star, Taylor had a mom and dad who loved her very much, and even though her parents didn’t always get along, they ALWAYS believed in her. Your mom and dad love and believe in you too, Charley, and please remember—of all the gifts you receive in life, LOVE is the most precious one of all.
Thank you for taking such good care of Elfie and his friends this holiday season, I know he’ll miss you, but he’ll be back next year. (I don’t think he’ll miss Winslow very much though. Ha ha!) Also, thank you so much for being the sweet, kind, free-spirited, and beautiful soul that you are! And, please don’t forget to believe in yourself—and I hope you’ll keep believing in me too!
Be good, work hard and listen to your mom and dad this year! I wish you and your family a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
P.S. … I ALMOST FORGOT! Along with this guitar another part of your gift is that I’m sending you and your mom to see Taylor Swift LIVE in concert on June 1st in Chicago! I hope you have a GREAT time!
And, one last thing, it doesn’t happen often, but this is how I feel about my parenting today …