We first met Sparkles the Elf three years ago, on the Monday after Thanksgiving. She arrived with much fanfare, as I recall, creating a sledding hill on the coffee table in the living room and wrapping the kids’ bunk beds entirely in Christmas paper. (As I perused old blogs to make sure of the year of her arrival, the most significant thing I noticed in the pictures was how clean the kids’ shared-at-the-time room was – it bears little resemblance to the toy-strewn mess that Batman now inhabits).
Each year since, Sparkles’ arrival has been met with much anticipation and not a little angst (Will she really show up this year? Have we been so naughty that Santa doesn’t even need to watch us anymore?), and this year I had a little angst of my own. The kids are older now, fully entrenched in 2nd and third grade, and many of their peers are starting to question the existence of the Magic that surrounds Christmas.
This has instigated numerous discussions about the Magic of Christmas, the Elf and Santa Claus, and I’ve held firm to my position that Magic is real if you BELIEVE it is real.
There are a few other children at school who also have Elves, and they eagerly share stories of their leprechaun’s escapades with each other. This of course attracts the attention of the non-believers, who hasten to point out that there is no Elf that visits their family, and moreover, Santa does not come to their house. I’ve even had a parent text me recently with apologies for her child “spoiling our Christmas” by telling Annabelle that Elves and Santa and the Magic of Christmas aren’t real. Their family, she said, used to BELIEVE, but it had just gotten to be too much work, and she was sorry that her child had ruined it for us. I texted her back right away and told her not to worry, Annabelle had not even thought enough of the discussion to mention it to me.
Her belief was unshaken.
I know it is inevitable, this peer-to-peer knowledge exchange that slowly erodes a child’s faith in the benevolence of the universe and the boundless cheer of the season. I am sure my kids will go through a phase, as we all do from time to time, doubting the existence of Magic and questioning the wonder that the universe presents to us each and every day.
That is simply a part of growing up.
But in the meantime, I will cling to that last bit of innocence and the belief in an unfathomable force that exists purely to create happiness and joy in the lives of all those who BELIEVE. We will arise early in the morning full of anticipation to discover what havoc Sparkles wrought the night before, and bubble with excitement on the drive home from school waiting to see what that silly Elf might have done in our absence.
So, in light of that, here is a sampling of what our own purveyor of Magic has treated our household to so far this season.
Sparkles’ first day back was spent riding the giant trophy that Annabelle won this year for the 10-and-Under Championship at the Low Roller Reining show in Nampa. I thought she was just the perfect size for that bronze horse, and a nice companion for the nameless rider who sits silently, forever riding that sliding stop.
That same night, in a sort of test I think, Annabelle asked Sparkles to assist her in a craft she was working on. My darling daughter had seen on YouTube a video of how to make your own polo wraps (leg protection, for you non-horsey readers) for your equine companions.
I dutifully took her to Wal-Mart to buy materials, and she spent more than an hour painstakingly cutting out the long strips of fleece.
We had purchased adhesive Velcro to fasten the polos with, but the video had indicated that in order to really secure the closures it would be better to sew them on.
Desperate Hubby located my sewing machine in the garage, and I set it up across from the desk in my home office. Annabelle had an earnest discussion with the elf, basically saying “If you are real, use your magic to sew some Velcro on these polos for me.”
But it turns out that the elf is really not much of a better seamstress than I am.
She did leave a nice letter for the kids though, urging them to be good and mind their parents and all that important stuff.
As for the polos, it turns out that the adhesive Velcro works just fine.
One of my favorite stunts, and conversely Batman’s least favorite (MOM! Those are my shorts – GROSS!) was the Underwear Tree.
Along the same theme, as pointed out by Annabelle, the naughty Elf also re-decorated the entire tree in toilet paper.
She helped herself to breakfast.
And decked the hall.
Which further reinforced Batman’s belief in the Magic of the Elf. Because as he said, “There is NO WAY that mom would go to so much work just to decorate a hallway.”
So on that note, I will end this narrative, with a reminder that Magic is everywhere around us.
You just have to BELIEVE.
And I do.