I love Christmas. I love decorating the tree, festooning the house with fairy lights and baking all those delicious extras from scratch that I don’t tend to do the rest of the year. I love the magical feeling that somehow permeates the year, the wistful feeling that brings up all sorts of memories from years gone by, and the precious time with family. There is change from ‘the everyday,’ the chance to watch Christmas films and an excuse to drink a hot toddy or two!
This year does seem a little different though. There are many challenges that we and our brothers and sisters all around the world have to face. Many of us are lucky – we have food on our table, we are warm and cared for. BUT there is struggle. None of us escapes challenges entirely.
I have been thinking about Santa Claus – he will be very busy now but I wondered if Mrs Claus would give me a bit of her time. Perhaps sit with me and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. So I dialled the Santa hotline and the Chief Elf put me straight through! I was in luck. Mrs Claus would be delighted to meet me. Soon I was on a direct flight to meet Mrs Claus at the North Pole.
Santa’s workshop was nestled between fir trees seemingly at the most magical edge of the world and the lights were on in every window. There in the doorway stood a smiling Mrs Claus.
Here is how our conversation went:
Me: ‘Hello Mrs Claus, it is wonderful to meet you. Thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule to see me.’ (Me looking very overawed here. Well it was the North Pole!)
Mrs C : ‘Hello dear, I always make time for those who need me. Let’s sit by the fire and have some refreshment.’ (Mrs C is incredibly sprightly and looks like everyone’s favourite Granny. She puts a tray with two mugs of hot chocolate and some gingerbread men on the side table. I like it here.)
Me: ‘Thank you. I love Christmas and the sense of wonderment, especially for the children. I love all the traditions and the magic. Santa, you and all his helpers do an amazing job every single year. How do you manage it?’ (I hear some tinkling bells and the elves singing as they work next door.)
Mrs C: ‘Well dear, we are very lucky because we go away after Christmas to recharge our batteries and get some sunshine. Whilst we are are away we check all our messages and ‘thank you’ notes. The elves stay home and look after things. They spring clean, check supplies, replenish the stores and make lists of all the new inventions and toys that will be required for the next year. They are very energetic and like to be ahead of the game. Everyone needs some restorative time and Santa uses the time to eat some plain food after consuming all those mince pies on his journey. He never likes to leave anything the children have kindly put out for him.’
Me: ‘I am pleased to hear that.’ (Looking pensive)
Mrs C: ‘I sense something is worrying you dear, can you tell me what it is?’
Me: ‘Well you see, the thing is, this year has been very hard for a lot of people at home. There are hardships all around, some people have lost their homes and are displaced, some cannot afford to keep their homes heated, some people are hungry, some people are trying to reach a haven… I could got on…’ (Mrs C nods sympathetically)
Mrs C: ‘I know this dear. We might live at the North Pole, but Santa and I keep a very sharp watch on all that is happening around the world. We feel very sad when we know people are suffering. ‘
Me: ‘Do you have any suggestions, Mrs Claus, on how we can help?
Mrs C: Well dear, we should all give what we can to help others. Every donation to food banks and homeless charities will make a difference. However, Santa and I cannot interfere with the running of the world, and we cannot explain why bad things happen to good people, but I can tell you this – if we all do our best to be kind and considerate, care for one another and reach out to anyone in need of a friend, the Universe will benefit. It will benefit big time. So think good thoughts dear. Love will find a way.’
We sat together for a while and then it was time to say goodbye.
Me: ‘Thank you Mrs Claus. Take care of yourself and Santa.’
Mrs C: ‘Goodbye dear, and remember – always believe!’
(Mrs Claus gives me a hug. She says hugs are very important.)
The Chief Elf magically appears and takes me to the airport on one of the spare sleighs. The stars are twinkling in the deep blue velvet sky and I look back to see Santa and Mrs Claus waving from the window. All will be well.
One kind word can WARM three months OF WINTER