When Hearts Are True
I used to be a Christmas Elf. No, not the pointy-eared kind, but the jolly old I'll make you smile if it's the last thing I ever do kind. There were cookie-bakes that started at sunrise and finished when either every participant left with more goodies than they would ever need for the entire season or the Christmas Cheer glasses were finally empty, whichever came first. Guests were entertained, or irritated, by follow-the-bouncing-ball Christmas Carol Sing-along videos all day long. Yes, you read that right. All... day... long...
Oh, and don't forget the empty stockings, hung by the chimney with care, that were mysteriously filled during the wee hours of the night and miraculously overflowing on Christmas morning. I even donned a different pair of crazy Christmas earrings on every December Day. I was a bit much. But I never doubted that I brought joy and goodwill to those stuck (either by choice or tough love!) in my holiday bubble.
Truth is though, I don't feel like an Elf anymore. Relax, that is not a sad realization. Like a fine wine, aged Elves have robust wisdom and full-bodied grace with candy cane overtones. But, my little elfin feet can't withstand 14+ hours of baking anymore; and countless glasses of Christmas Cheer have thankfully exited my epic holiday rituals as well. What does remain, however, are the purest of sugarplum visions.
While 2020 may go down in history as the storm of the century, Christmas is always the season of hope. We are, after all, each individual snowflakes in the middle of a big, beautiful blizzard. We endure and overcome life's blizzards through prayerful repose. It is faith, hope, and charity that will light a path to brighter days.
This finely aged Elf still has eyes that twinkle with anticipation. I envision for each of you a holiday for all seasons. I wish you and yours the warmest of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa blessings wrapped with tidings of great joy. All Elves can do great things when their hearts are true... the Elf in you is awaiting your permission to twinkle!
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Jacque Jarrett Stratman