Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Magic belongs to those who know how to make it...

Conspiring with my sweetheart to create a rich Santa story line has been one of the highs of my adult life.  This season I loved this article that explores the impact of spinning the Santa yarn for your kids.  And over the years I've fallen in love with the movie, Lars and the Real Girl, which makes a great case for how believing in fiction can heal hearts.

With our oldest daughter, now eight, this was the Christmas our Santa story had to begin address the very real aspect of growing up, and growing out of the original Santa story line.  Over the last few weeks we've been doing our best to usher her to the next phase of Christmas magic by getting her involved in the story.  Early in December  she was invited by the elves to participate in a Quest to become an Assistant Elf.

Inspired by my friend, Laurel, the grand finale was a scrap book that documented her quest.

It was highly secretive, she was the only sister old enough to help out.

Jolly, the elf, announced she had been identified

as just the kind of girl who might make a great Assistant Elf.

So she was invited on a quest to spread Christmas Cheer.

The elves set her up with her very own email address for sending Christmas notes to loved ones.

There were lots of decorating tasks, including decorating her sisters' bedroom doors. 
When Chloe saw her door she exclaimed, "The elves were here!"

There was a surprise day off for spending with her great-aunt who flew in from NYC.

Donuts and a lot of silly fun were had.

After a final task of accompanying her grandmother to Church, Christmas Eve, the Quest was completed.  When she found out that the Quest was done, she looked up and said, "Mom, I'm sad the Quest is over."  

Well, love, this Quest, thankfully never really ends.

Here is the final note of her official Quest to become and Assistant Elf.

Dear Gwendolyn,

We got word in the North Pole that you're learning a lot about the world these days.  Your teachers tell us that you know a lot of Math and are reading whole chapter books on your own!  It's not uncommon for someone to alert us when a child starts learning all these things, because it is at the very moment when children start to learn all about "real" things, that they are tempted to stop believing in magic.

We've been through this a lot at the North Pole, and what we've learned is that the people who get to keep magic in their lives are the ones who figure out how to make it.  And that's why we sent you on the quest this year.

Thank you for doing it, you helped us out ALOT!  We hope you had fun.

By doing your quest you proved that you know how to make Christmas magic all on your own.  This is a very special and important accomplishment, because it means that you will have Christmas magic in your life forever and ever.  Santa will be able to live on.  Your children and your children's children will believe.  And us elves, here in the North Pole will continue to have jobs!  So we are very grateful to you.

You are now officially an Assistant Elf.  CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Dear, dear Gwendolyn, we know that this is just the beginning of the magic you will make in your life.  Your family is so lucky to have a sparkler like you in their lives.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Making it real

Manifesto manifested!

I have been taking a blogging break
to tend to holiday bustle.

But this gift stopped me in my tracks.

May you too
who reflects
back to you
the you
you dream of becoming.

And thanks too
whose creative dream
gives voice 
to mine.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Friday November 30th, 2012

Every Friday we light candles.  
We light them for ourselves and for everyone.

Friday was our official "holiday" gathering.

warm gracious
joy slow
love quiet
cozy safe

We wrote about what it feels like to receive, and wondered
what might it mean to be generous, 
not just in giving, but in receiving too.