​Happy Holiday Hugs from New Hampshire

Posted by Heather Krill in Life After Paralysis on December 19, 2022 # Lifestyle

ToysOver the summer, we told our son, then 12, that he had enough knowledge of the magic of Christmas and that he did not need Santa’s help any longer to find it. We were torn, of course, as parents about ruining Christmas and the magic of his elves, Snowflake and Jingle Bells. But a bigger concern was him going into the seventh grade and having his sensitive little heart smashed by someone older, certainly not wiser, but perhaps more informed in the unbelieving universe. I promised myself we would do it on a happy day, full of sunshine and fun-- maybe after swimming or fishing in the river with friends. Then, maybe, just maybe, pulling off the Band-Aid would not be so terrible.

We sat on my bed, and I broke the news to him about Santa, which he took like a champ at almost 13 years old. However, moments into our discussion, he looked up at me with tears in his eyes and asked, “What does that mean about the elves?” And I thought because he was almost 13, he would be able to connect the dots from Santa, the reindeer, and the elves. Sadly, this was the heartache I had most feared for our boy, long before other people broke his heart. “But I was just so convinced they were real. I just wanted them to be real forever.”

Our elves didn’t really do anything crazy or mischievous, but they wrote many letters back and forth, depositing them in an official ELF mailbox. They also did some scavenger hunts so their Aunt and Uncle, who live in Germany, could participate in the magic of “elfing” over the last few years. While I don’t miss moving the elf or writing letters at night on the brink of exhaustion, I do miss listening to our children talk about the elves in relation to their magic and Santa. But they hold onto the magic in other ways. They love cutting the tree down and helping to decorate the house. This year there is a sort of elf shrine set up on a table when one first enters our home.

Geoff asked the kids, “ So, are the elves just going to hang out all the time with us this Christmas?”

Carver replied, “Well, why wouldn’t they? They are family.” So, it begs the question, will these elves follow him to his home one day? Will they be used with his children should he choose the route of fatherhood? Will he want to take them to college with him or be okay with returning home at Christmas Time to celebrate traditions with our family? Like many parents this season, we are tired and maybe feel like we don’t have the money to spend on experiences we would like to share with our children. Groceries cost more; oil costs more; our electric bill will be through the roof thanks to our Christmas lights, one can see from the highway. But the important factor remains, even without the innocence of Santa and the elves, we still all believe in the magic of Christmas-- and of time together with our families, celebrating friendship, love, laughter, health, and hope. More importantly, we stay strong for those whose struggle is perhaps larger than ours or those whose home countries are embattled or embroiled in more conflict than ours. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, something else entirely or nothing related to religion or culture, we send our love, hope, and joy out to the universe. Happy Holidays from our home (elves and all) to yours.

Heather Ehrman Krill is a writer- wife- teacher-mom who lives in the White Mountains of NH with her husband, Geoff, a paraplegic and professional skier, and their two children, Carver and Greta who are 12 and 11 respectively. Please check out her novel True North, website www.heatherkrill.com, author FB page Heather Krill, and @heatherkrill1 on Twitter.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.