Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 70: innocence and magic. amen.

Innocence. I see it in my niece and nephew and I wish I could bottle it up, gift wrap it and present it to them on their 25th Christmas. I babysat them the other night, and the plan was to trim the Christmas tree together. They were pretty hyper, so I decided to tell them a story to help them settle down.  (They are 6 and 4, and stories are their favorite).  
Me: Have you ever heard of the teeny tiniest Christmas elves?
They both shake their heads.
Me: Well, I’m not surprised. They’re a very big secret at the North Pole. But I can let you in on the secret if you promise to keep it. Can you?
They nod eagerly, eyes a little wider.
Me: These teeny tiny elves live in the boxes where we store our Christmas ornaments.  And at Christmas time, when we're not looking, they jump out of the box and hide in Christmas trees and poinsettias. (I point to a poinsettia). They're very nice, and adore children, but they hide because they are very timid.
At this point my nephew leaps from his chair to inspect the poinsettia.
Him: Zia, I can’t see it!!
(whispering) Shhhhh! You’ll frighten them! I haven’t finished telling you what the teeny tiny elves do for Santa.
He sits down beside me.
Me: Their job is to make sure children are in the Christmas spirit, so that they can properly welcome Santa when he arrives. When you hear a Christmas song playing, that means an elf was JUST there! So what we need to do now, is creep slowly and quietly up the stairs. When we get to the tree, we need to tell them very softly that we are very happy and excited that Santa is coming to town. 
Holding my hands, they follow me up the stairs on their tip toes and hesitantly walk towards the tree.
Me: It's ok. They're friendly!
I notice my niece is smiling as she whispers into the tree.
Her: I think I saw one, Zia!
Me: Did you?! You must have a little magic in you, if you saw one.
My nephew gets frustrated.
Him: I still didn't see one.
Look closely, and speak kindly to them. They're tricky little buggers, they move very fast.
While they were both inspecting and talking to the tree, I slipped a Christmas CD on, and pressed play. They both whirled around in sheer delight.
Them: They’re here!!! The elves are here! They played music!
Well, what do you know! They listened to you. That's fantastic. Now we can decorate the tree nice for Santa.


  1. Tanya, I remember you having this old looking Children's book about little goblins or fairies or something. I used to always want to look at it when I came to your house. This entry really reminded me of our own imaginations as kids. Thanks for bottling it up for me. Love and kisses...Nadia

  2. Well if that's not the best Christmas story I've heard in a long time. Your story to them, and even more so your story to us. :)

    Innocence and magic (and storytelling). amen.


  3. Nad, I think I still have it! (If it's the same one you're talking about. God knows I was a book worm). Us cousins really knew how to stay entertained with our own imaginations...We'd make houses in the forest at the country place and stay there the whole day long! I think that's why we're all still so close, we grew up in eachother's minds. I hope that video games and the internet don't destroy that for our younger ones.xox

    Thanks Ralph. I wasn't sure about this post...glad I put it up. My sister called me today to say, "Why the hell are my kids talking to the Christmas tree?!" hehe