Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Holiday Story Re-visited...

"Christmas isn't just a day, it's a frame of mind" 
- from the film "Miracle On 34th Street"
Hello Dear Blog Readers and a Happy Christmas to you, where ever you are today!
I shared this holiday story two years ago and I want to share it here again since the hero of this story sadly passed away this year...It is a story that, for me, illustrates creativity and it also illustrates that Christmas is indeed a state of mind...

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A Christmas Without Gifts

Once upon a time, many years ago, there was a family of five: a Father, a Mother, a Daughter, and two Sons. They lived in a duplex apartment until the day they were going to move into a home of their own.

This move was going to take place during Christmas time and, unknown to the children of the family, there would be no presents for the holidays due to the expense of buying the new home. The Mother was very unhappy about this prospect and begged the Father to buy just a few little things for their children, but the Father insisted that there was no money for even the smallest of toys. There would not even be a tree for the holidays...

The Mother cried to her Brother about all of this and he mysteriously said that something would work out - it was the season for miracles and Santa after all! The Mother was not so sure, but she certainly felt better having poured out her troubles to him.

There was much packing of household items and clothing and the living room began to look a bit bare as preparations for the move took place, especially since there was no tree for Christmas and no presents to put beneath it if there had been one. The children however  were mostly concerned about how Santa would find them if they were in transit for moving to their new home and the Mother did not know how to answer them.

On Christmas Eve, they were still in the old duplex and there was no tree and no sign of presents for anyone. The children were certain that there would be gifts by morning since they were still in their old home and Santa would have no trouble finding them. It didn't matter if there wasn't a tree - Santa would be able to visit just the same without a tree! The Mother put the children to bed with a heavy heart and she wondered how she would be able to explain why there were no gifts for Christmas morning.

Early on Christmas morning, even before the children awoke, the phone rang and the Mother picked it up. On the other end a strange voice said:

"Go look outside your front door!"

The Mother went to the front door and opened it. On the front stoop, there was a bag of little toys, not anything grand but there were toys for each of the children. There was also a very special letter that was hand-written by Santa Claus for the children and the mother read it to them when they awoke...

Dear children,
I was working in my workshop with my many elves when I heard from Peter Penguin, who heard it from Sally Seal, who heard it from Wally Whale, who heard it from Flora Fish, who heard it from Cora Crab, who heard it from Sammy Seagull, who heard it from Billy Bird, who heard it from Cathy Cat, who heard it from David Dog, who heard it from Fanny Flea, who heard it from Martha Mouse who heard it from a little ant that lives in the crack of the floorboards of your home that you were moving to a wonderful new home and that you were worried that I might not be able to find you there.

I want you to know that I will always know where to find you wherever you are. You could move to Timbuktu and I will still be able to find you and bring you your gifts! But I couldn't have done it with out a little help from Peter Penguin who told me that he heard it from Sally Seal, who heard it from Wally Whale, who heard it from Flora Fish, who heard it from Cora Crab, who heard it from Billy Bird, who heard it from Cathy Cat, who heard it from David Dog, who heard it from Fanny Flea, who heard it from Martha Mouse who heard it from the little ant that lives in the crack in the floorboard of your house.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Jolly New Year and I look forward to visiting you in your new home next Christmas!

Santa Claus

Would you believe that Santa had drawn each and every animal that conveyed the news about the children to him! There was Peter Penguin and Sally Seal and Wally Whale and Flora Fish and all the others right down to the little ant that lived in the crack in the floorboard of the house! The children could not believe that they received gifts AND a special hand written letter from Old Saint Nick himself! In fact, they loved the letter even more than the gifts - after all, it's not every day that Santa Claus writes you a letter!

Santa had not forgotten about them and there were gifts for Christmas after all... 

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The hero of this story was my Uncle Al, who was quite an artist. He is the one who brought gifts for me and my brothers and it was he who created the wonderful letter from Santa complete with drawings of each animal that passed the news to Santa to let him know where we were on that Christmas day. He passed away this fall. He was highly creative, an amazing artist and a storyteller with a great sense of humor, descended from a long line of storytellers with a funny bone, my grandfather being the head storyteller.

I never did remember the small gifts he brought for us on that Christmas day, but I have kept the memory of the letter with me always, though the actual letter has been lost for some time...that letter has always been the gift I took and kept with me.

This story reminds me of the amazing legacy of cheerful giving, creativity, artistry and storytelling I have to draw upon and sustain me in my life, a legacy I hope to honor always.

 My Uncle Al - he kept his playful, funny and creative spirit always!

May we all honor the Spirit of Creative Giving, today and always...

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