Since arriving home on Wednesday, I’ve attempted to watch The Holiday twice already, passing out within 30 minutes of the first scene each time. But here I am, on the Christmas Eve morning/early afternoon attempting to watch it again, from the last spot I last remember before drifting off last night. Third time is a charm…or at least I hope. Honest to God I didn’t think I’d like this movie, primarily because I’m not a big Cameron Diaz fan., but with Jude Law, Kate Winslet, and a beautiful message about life and love, it’s proven to be one that I turn to quite often- especially during the holidays. Watching this movie today, I cannot help but think about how special the holidays are. And how much more special they are when you have kids to celebrate the holidays with.
As I said a few days before, reading those Dear Santa letters from the Macy’s Believe campaign, these Kids Make Me Want to Believe Again. In Everything. Believe that Anything is Possible if you Just Believe.
As we prepare our house for tomorrow’s guests, our holiday tradition with members of both my mom’s and dad’s families, I sit here wishing that we’d be graced with the presence of the Real Joys of Christmas: Children.
Much to our dismay, all of the young children in our family (my older cousins’ kids) will not be spending the holiday with us here in Pittsburgh. But I promise you that as we sit around the dinner table tomorrow, the same conversation will occur, directed at my cousins and me: So are you dating anyone? (No.) I cannot believe you don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend. (Response is typically a simple, let’s change the subject- smile or a witty one liner , which today’s tends to be “Oh that poor boy. whoever he is, is going to have to put up with this hot mess!”) And, as has been common lately after a conversation about my passion for volunteering with my children’s organizations, I’m sure this unheard line will find its way to my ears: “You’re going to make a great mother.” If that line is spoken to me, no matter how far away my mother ends up being at the time, I’m sure she’ll hear it and I may catch a glimpse of her hopefulness as she wishes that one day her daughter would finally meet a good guy and respond differently than, “I’m not sure if I’ll even have kids of my own. I don’t even think I’ll ever get married.”
But that’s not the point of this post…and instead I want to tell you about some children that I will be spending the holiday with, at least in spirit.
First, you know about my little angels, Hazel & George, who are the children of my friends, Rebecca & Nate. I would give anything to spend this Christmas with them. Take in their Excitement, Joy, and Beautiful Innocence. See their Smiles and Hear their Laughter. Just knowing them is the Best Christmas Present I could ever receive. If I do have kids of my own, one day, I know that it will be because of the impact that Hazel & George made on me.
And then there’s little Ethan & Liam (photo on the right), my two Wish Kids that we’ll hopefully be sending to Disney World in 2011. Liam’s as precious as they come: From His Tiny Little Voice, His Bright Big Boy Smile, and His Contagious Laugh that Makes You Want to Laugh. He is a Gift from God. And Inspiration to Me. The Reason I continue to Believe that Good Things can happen if You Fight & Believe.
On Monday, I am excited to spend some time with two more special kids, through accepting an invitation from my friend, Nila, to send-off Wish Kid, Ivy, her sister, Ayla, and her father and uncle on this trip to Disney World. Not only are Ivy & Ayla completely deserving of some spoiling and good cheer, but I feel blessed to have the support of my friends, Kristin, Stef, and Jen, who will be joining Nila and me at the Columbus Airport for this special occasion. Looking at photos of Ivy & Ayla makes me Appreciate the Chance that I have to Make this Holiday a bit Brighter for these little girls.
And this week, my mom brought another special girl, Matisse, and her family Into my Life. Into my World. Ten-year old, Matisse, is not only spending Christmas in the hospital but also her birthday (which is on Christmas day). Matisse and her family are from New Zealand and relocated to Pittsburgh four years ago to undergo a stomach, duodenum, pancreas, small and large bowel transplant. Her strength and determination are inspiring. Her family’s love & support are admirable and serve as a Reminder to How We Should All Love & Support Our Family.
Before signing off, may I ask you for a favor? Unfortuantely, Matisse and her family with be celebrating Christmas & her 1oth birthday in the hospital and as you can imagine, it’s not exactly their choice of destinations. However, we can all help make it better for them. Matisse LOVES getting e-cards from her family, friends, and all Well Wishers across the world. Her goal is to receive a card from someone in every state. Well, knowing that I have some international followers, as well, on this blog, I thought that we could help Matisse reach her goal and more.
Please visit www.chp.edu/CHP/ecards and send “Matisse Reid” a Happy Holiday card or Happy Birthday card. By doing this, you will truly make Matisse’s Christmas & Birthday a whole lot merrier and joyful. And Your Own Too, knowing that you brightened the day of a little girl.
So tonight, Christmas Eve, as you sit staring at the cracklin’ fireplace in your parents’ house and reimagine the plate of cookies, milk, and carrots that you used to lay out for Santa & his reindeer, wondering why did I ever believe in such a thing, Remember the Kids who Still Believe. And if you don’t have any kids in your life- your own, friends’ kids, nieces & nephews, grandchildren, students, and/or patients- I encourage you to Think of Mine: Hazel, George, Ethan, Liam, Ivy, Ayla, Matisse, and all of the Wish Kids and Kids in the Hospital that I’m Wishing I could Spend Christmas with.
Matisse’s Blog: www.caringbridge.org/visit/matissereid
Liam’s Blog: www.liamsgang.com