It was the night before Christmas and the house, unlike the one in the story, was in a state of ‘near pandemonium’. Dinner had not yet started and the kitchen was an absolute mess with the cookies that needed to be baked for Santa and the baby’s food that needed to go in the mixer and a sink that was overflowing with dishes from the afternoon. The little boy was finding it difficult to contain his excitement and kept jumping down from the sofa for no good reason while the baby girl kept trying to crawl under the Christmas tree and pull at whatever her tiny fingers could get hold of. The dad was doing his best trying to get the guest bedroom/playroom ready for people coming over the following day and picking up a ridiculous number of tiny pieces of Lego was making it a little challenging for sure. The mom kept breathing and cleaning the kitchen while keeping an eye on the little ones who clearly seemed to be in no rush to eat or go to bed.
Somehow dinner got done and the kitchen was cleaned and it was finally time for the kids to be in bed when the boy said ” I am thinking of staying up as long as it takes so that I can meet Santa when he comes in and ask him somethings I really need to ask”. It took a good amount of ‘logical’ storytelling that convinced him to sleep and let Santa work his magic. After the teeth had been brushed and PJs put on and a Santa story read, the boy remembered that he had forgotten to keep cookies and milk for Santa and carrot for the reindeer. So lights got turned on again in the kitchen and after all that was done, and a ‘thank you’ note written, the mom heard the boy talk to Santa looking up into the night sky through the skylight in the living room. And he said “Thank you Santa for bringing us presents. You know I want a walkie talkie and a Paw Patrol watch. I know that you are very busy so if you can’t find a Paw Patrol watch, it’s okay…you an get me any watch or none at all…I won’t be upset. Also, could you please remember to get a flower each for my parents and a book too. And a fluffy stuffy for my baby sister.” The mom smiled and wondered when did her little munchkin grow up?
After what seemed like eternity, the kids were finally in bed and the toys had been picked up, it was time for ‘Santa’ to get going with the presents. Of course the parents had forgotten to get those out of the car, where they had been hiding it for almost a month! Cursing themselves, one went out in the cold to get those presents and then the two got together to wrap those and put bows on. The mom and the dad laughed a lot too thinking about the crazy evening just a couple of hours ago and talked about how things were when they were growing up. When all was done and the tree looked complete with the presents around it, they also talked about how at that moment there were kids all over the world who had gone to bed hungry and cold. They spoke briefly about how things just did not seem to make sense anymore but then they also spoke about how people all around the world were rallying for such kids in their own little or big way. And that mattered. That made a difference for sure. And it may take a while to see the difference, but they believed in their hearts that a difference was being made every moment by thoughtful people who walk the ordinary life everyday and continue to participate in making this world a better place, a place where the innocence of children is not shattered by growling stomachs.
The mom, dad, the little boy and the baby girl wish you all happiness and peace, today and always.