Sometimes we can lose the true meaning of Christmas in the hustle and bustle of this busy season. There is so much to do; events to plan, time to spend with family, and gifts to buy. I recently read this beautiful letter that reminds me what the true meaning of this season is. No matter how old you are, this is a wonderful reminder of the magic of Christmas. The letter is copied below and is from parents to their young son, Henry:
We’ve discussed a really good question recently, “Are Mom and Dad really Santa?” We know that you want to really know the answer, and we had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
You are growing up so fast and into such a beautiful, smart, and caring young man and we are very proud of you.
We know that you have now reached an age that you will understand what we are about to explain to you.
The answer is no. We are not Santa. There is no one, single Santa.
We are the people who fill your stocking and choose the presents and put them under the tree — just as our parents did for us, their parents did for them, and you will do for your kids someday.
This could never make any of us Santa, though. Santa is lots and lots of people who keep the spirit of Christmas alive. He lives in our hearts – not at the North Pole. Santa is the magic and love and spirit of giving to others. What he does is teach children to believe in something they can’t see or touch.
Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your family, in your friends, and in God.
You’ll need to be able to believe in things you can’t measure or hold in your hands.
I know this may make you a little sad to lose some of that magic you once believed now that you know the secret – but the truth is that you now just know a different kind of secret and I hope you never forget that Santa is love, hope, magic, and happiness.
I do ask you to help me keep Santa alive for your brothers, cousins, classmates, and friends who still believe in him as a person. It is important you allow younger children to find out in their own time.
A child has to be ready to understand this kind of secret and magic and now that you know you can help me continue on with this tradition for our family.
Just as you found joy in believing in Santa as a person, I assure you that you will have the same feeling in watching others believe in that magic.
We are on Santa’s team, and now you are too.
We love you, and we always will.
Mom and Dad
I hope you all are merry and bright this wonderful holiday season! But if you aren’t, that is OK too and completely normal! During this time, the holidays can be a wonderful reason to be around family. It can also be stressful and blue, especially for those of us who don’t have our loved ones around.
Everyone knows how challenging family situations can be, and this can feel like an avalanche of burdens when the stigma of recovery is added into the mix. Try to focus on how proud you are of how far you’ve come this year, and try not to worry about what others may think.
No matter how experiences may have gone in the past, we are in charge of our destiny. We can choose how to perceive our future interactions and become the person we want to be. Remember this when coming into any conversations this season, especially those that may have been rocked by turmoil in the past. Choose to let go and be the first to see with fresh eyes. When we choose to let go of baggage, our hearts will definitely feel lighter.
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Best wishes this season!
With love and hope,