Dear Readers, As the year comes to a close and we are all out celebrating the holidays, I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am to have been a part of your lives. This year has brought so much to me personally, with every opportunity and every new day, I feel more deeply saturated with gratitude now more than ever. I thought with this column I would share a story of my family when my children were really young, back when they lost their father to cancer. Back in 1998, I was working two jobs as a nurse, going to college and raising my four young children. The holidays were upon us and there was little money and even less time. The guilt I had been feeling was so heavy, weighing on me, as I felt helpless trying to lift my children’s spirits as we celebrated another holiday without their father. The loss of their hero had leveled my young ones, in a time when they should have been happy in their childhood, but instead I felt the enormity of their loss every day. One afternoon in December I came home from working another 12- hour shift. Exhausted, I plopped down on the couch to talk to my kids to see how their day had gone. I knew I was missing so much. Their little faces so beautiful in their innocence, looked back at me as each one told me about their day, their holiday preparations at school, the time they had spent with their grandparents who were helping me to raise their son’s family. My youngest boy, Tom, with wide eyes looked at me and asked, “Mama, are we going to put up the Christmas tree this year? I looked around at our unusually barren house and then back at my son. I felt so tired, so completely worn out; the idea of going into the attic to pull out the decorations seemed too much for me. I slowly nodded my head, “Yes, we will put up the tree, Tom, I am just not sure when.” I could see the disappointment in my children’s faces. It was a look I had witnessed a hundred times since their father had died. I was incomplete without their dad. I knew I wasn’t enough, but had no idea how to bridge that particular gap. “I promise we will decorate the house soon. I am just so tired today. Can it wait another day?” Tom looked at me with eyes down turned and nodded. I knew he would forgive me, knowing how tired I was, but could I? I felt that I had once again disappointed my kids. My legs felt like lead as I lay back down on the couch. Eventually we had dinner, and I put the children to bed. I resumed my position on the couch in our living room, and prayed. I prayed for forgiveness, for strength, for more time. I prayed until my eyes feeling so heavy eventually closed as I drifted off. The next morning I was awakened by my loud and boisterous brood as they climbed all over me calling my name, “Mama!” in excitement. As I slowly came to, I looked around to find our Christmas tree up and decorated. The stockings were indeed hung by the chimney with care. My children were dancing around the living room so happy, thrilled at the miracle before them. Garlands adorned doorways, twinkle lights blinked in the early morning darkness. “Did you do this?” they all asked in unison. In my foggy state, I slowly shook my head “no.” “Oh, Mama, isn’t it beautiful? Santa must have come to help decorate our house!” my eldest stated, certain the elves had taken time from the workshop to help our family. “It’s a miracle!” they sang as they danced our living room, delighting in each and every decoration that they had seen before, for many years. They touched their stockings, walked around the room examining the wonder of the unexplained gift we had received. I saw the joy return to their eyes. I saw them believe with such certainty that miracles happen, not just to others, but to us. No one questioned the origin of the gift merely accepting what was given. I will never forget the look on my children’s faces that year. It has been one of the finest gifts I have ever received. I wish for you a little holiday miracle, a moment in time that resonates with pure joy. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! May the New Year bring you joy, prosperity and love. Contact Kellie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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