Christmas is such a magical time around my house. We make cookies, wrap presents, decorate gingerbread houses. We spend time watching movies and playing games around our lighted tree. And we watch a lot of Elf. As in Buddy the Elf. And while a lot of other people call Miracle on 34th Street a timeless classic, Elf will always serve as mine.
When I watch Elf, I’m filled with the magic of Christmas. I want to make gingerbread houses and go ice skating. And eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie Dough as fast as I can. And snuggle. With my family. The movie restores my belief that miracles can happen. And that they do. All. The. Time.
And they don’t have to be the break-through impossible barriers miracles like the Bad News Bears or Jaime Escalante’s uncanny batch of AP Calculus students.
Or the Philadelphia Eagles who scored four touchdowns in eight minutes (sorry my Giants friends – couldn’t resist).
But miracles can happen in the most unexpected places. Like in a tiny stable outside a very full inn in a who's heard of that place town like Bethlehem.
Sometimes they happen and we don’t even know it. Like in the love of two sixteen year olds when one's battling ALS. Or in the heart of high school football players, when they seemed doomed to lose, yet they never give up.
Sometimes miracles can happen in an unexpected letter. Or a soul-mending embrace. Or a smile when you've had the worst day ever.
The other day I wrote about what I’d give my favorite characters for Christmas. Well, today, I wanted to let you know the miracles I wish for you.
For my writer friends - I wish you endurance to finish that current project. Or experience the epiphany that leads to a new one. Or that you find an agent. Or a publisher. And more importantly, that you continue to write because you love to write, that writing still fuels a fire burning within you.
For my book blogger friends - I wish you a gihugic pile of really awesome books to read and review. Or even that amazeballs one that keeps your head spinning for days.
For my former students - For years you were all my success and happiness – and I wish the same to you – a million, katrillion times over.
For my colleagues – a chance to catch your breath, to ride the waves instead of treading a fathomless ocean. To be appreciated. And to feel confident you’re making a difference. Because you are.
For my friends who have lost a special someone - I wish you comfort. A warm embrace. A plethora of fond memories to fog any despair.
For my friends with children – time. A baby’s birth jets your fast-forward button into hyperdrive and before you know it – your kids are in kindergarten. Or driving. Or going to college. Relish the daily miracles a child brings into your life. Mine has been chock-full of them.
For my dearest friends – I wish you more of them. I don’t know what I’d do without the Ambers and Rickis in my life.
For my family – I wish you more of me. Not because I’m clone-worthy, but because I want to be with you whenever you need me. Or when I want to be with you.
And my wish for all of you...
Relish the miracles all around you. Your sick toddler's dream-induced smile or your teenager actually saying she loves you. Savor coming home to clean dishes. Or just being able to have dishes. Or food on them. Appreciate the aha moment after a mind-boggling math problem. Or discovering that one nuance in your novel that explains EVERYTHING.
Relish your passions… about anything. A chance for two seconds of fame. Or an hour of uninterrupted quiet.
Enjoy that home-cooked meal. A home to go home to.
Permission to leave work five minutes early when you have a katrillion places to go. A job you enjoy. Or just having a job.
Sooo if you’re feeling like George Bailey or Doris Walker. When it seems everything’s going wrong and the world’s conspiring against you. When you want to scream, “Can I please just throw a big pity party for myself because life freaking SUCKS?!” Or it seems there can't possibly be a Santa Claus. Know. Know that miracles do happen. Sometimes you just have to open your eyes to them.
Okay – I’m done now. Merry Christmas, my friends. I treasure each and every one of you.