Traditions are important to my family and me.
That’s certainly true during the holidays, especially Christmas.
How we decorate our home each year. Walking to church for candlelight service on Christmas Eve. How my brother Owen and I wait for each other to go downstairs together on Christmas morning with dad always at the foot of the stairs filming our first few minutes of excitement. These traditions and countless others help define our family and are childhood memories that I will never forget and, I am sure, one day share with my own children.
Writing a letter to Santa over the years and then visiting him at our local mall only to find that he had received those letters, that he had them in that little mailbox that sat next to his chair and knew our names and what we’d asked for are especially vivid memories and, I dare say, part of the magic of the holiday that we hold dear in our hearts.
And speaking of those memories and that magic, something new and remarkable happened yesterday that I want to share with you. It’s part tradition and also has a bit of magic blended in but is also a sign of our times and the importance that no matter who you are, or where you live, that our warming climate is a concern to just about everyone.
You see, just as we were about to leave our home for the theater to see the Nutcracker ballet (another annual tradition) my cell phone rang with a Facetime request from a number I’ve never seen. Mom and dad encouraged me to answer it and I was then surprised to be looking at the jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus, who with a robust Ho Ho Ho announced that he was calling to wish Owen and me a Merry Christmas.
OK, I have to admit that at first I was surprised and a bit speechless.
And while I was trying to wrap my mind around the call, what I was seeing and how much he knew about Owen and me, the next thing I knew Santa was telling me how concerned he is about climate change and its impact on the North Pole. One second we were talking about school and Christmas and the next he was asking what they can do to protect his homeland from melting, from disappearing, how solar power is a good start and how easy it is to store the power of the sun in batteries over those long winter nights we’ve all read about.
Santa talked with Owen and I about some other things including his reindeer, Owen’s singing and acting and such but what I can’t get out of my mind was his concern over our environment. It seems that even legendary, mythical figures are concerned about our warming climate and how we solve this crisis before it’s too late. And that call, and especially his concern, just goes to further define the term Christmas Magic.
So from our home to you and your family and friends, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanza. And remember, Santa is not only watching all of us to see if we are naughty or nice but to see how we each treat this special place where we live, planet earth, so that his home in the North Pole, like mine here in South Florida, will be around for future generations of children to love and cherish.