The magic balloon

Every child deserves a little Christmas magic, some just need it more.

Take the little guy you might have seen holding a distinctive balloon at the Farmer’s Market on a gorgeous summer day. You’d know right away from the mischief in his eyes and the grin on his face how entertaining life could be with him. 

You probably wouldn’t realize, even if you noticed the determined set of his tiny shoulders, what a heavy load he carries there.

So, when you watched him let go of that balloon, run after it and then throw himself to the ground in despair when he couldn’t retrieve it, you might have chuckled a little at the drama of it all. Maybe, you’d have thought the story ended with that balloon floating away, as so many do.

But, balloons have stories too, and the winds on which they ride carry magic of their own. 

We know that for sure.

Because yesterday morning, a most forgiving elf brought that runaway balloon back with him from the North Pole. 

It turns out an accommodating jetstream guides all lost balloons to Santa’s Workshop, where elves clean them off, fill them up, and send them back out into the world to spread their joy.

We’re especially lucky that ours made its way back to us because we’ve been a little worried around here about how Christmas is going to feel.

These little instances of holiday magic can seem silly, especially when we’re all so busy with the genuine challenges of ordinary life. 

But they aren’t frivolous at all.

December can’t distribute all its twinkle lights and candy canes equally, so it relies on things like loyal elves and prodigal balloons to help each child believe in wondrous places like the North Pole, and kind creatures like elves, and in all the things they represent like love, generosity, joy and family.

May the magic of this beautiful, difficult, glorious season find you and yours, and may you send it back out into the world with equal empathy and joy.

We were happy to see that our elf carried a balloon, and not a grudge, when he came back to our house yesterday. It was exciting to see that he brought the exact same balloon that floated away five months ago.
I can’t say for sure how the rest of the month will go for the little elves in our home, but I can say that balloon brought a necessary boost of optimism and joy and we’re all very grateful for that.

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