Blogger’s Note: Over Christmas 2003, we became annual pen-pals with an elf named Siberius Quill, and he has again delivered this year! Transcriptions of past letters from Quill can be seen here.
My dearest Children!
Another year flown by already—and as I sat down to write you this evening, the Keeper of the Birthday Calendar, Monitor Milestone, reminded me that not only do you have a Teenager in your midst, but also another child in Double Digits, as it were! We track such things carefully, because as you might guess, birthdays and other such Big Events are prime opportunities for Young Ones like yourselves to do good or ill. Happily, you all remain on the Good List again this year—believe me, not all my Families do so well!
But old Monty had a second purpose in mind with his reminder: while a decade is no time at all in the Life of an Elf, it is a Significant Step for the children of Big People and a boy’s role in the celebration of All Things Christmas. Why, it seems no time ago at all that I told Master Brendan he was of an age to take on New Responsibilities in that regard, and now Master Gabriel has joined him! As you’ve no doubt guessed, there are Things You Must Know and Thing You Must Do. In a quiet moment, talk to your Father, Master G.—he remembers his own Tenth Year well!
Master B., we’ve noticed the Shifts in your attention and interests this year from Play Things to stuff of a More Serious Nature. Though your house is not small, you are in Close Quarters with your siblings (at least one of whom is still Quite Small) so you cannot do or have everything you would like. Patience, Eldest! St. Nicholas knows your needs and has done something unusual this year—you will find somewhere in your gifts an opportunity to choose something a bit more Grown-Up. Use it wisely!
As for the lovely Emma Rose and young Master Trevor, it is a joy to watch you grow, in grace and wisdom, as well as stature. Miss Emma, your love of the Arts is apparent in all that you do! You might recall I previously mentioned our elfin Songmaster, Jovial Morales, who provides the music by which we elves do our work? His mother, Choral (who was a Longpiper before she married) has heard you with the Children’s Choir and (I hope you don’t mind!) singing about the house. For nearly a millennia she has conducted our church choir, so you can be sure she speaks the Truth: your voice is sweet and will only get sweeter. Madam Choral says keep practicing, and remember: When you sing, you Pray Twice!
As for you, Master T., as is typical for Boys Your Age (especially those with Big Brothers) you are always trying keep up. You’ll be happy with the gifts old Santa has prepared—but I urge you to Be Patient, as well. Enjoy being young, and do not rush into the games and toys of Older Kids!
Finally—and I will not dwell on Sadness, knowing you are reading this on Christmas Day, which, like no other day, must be a Time of Joy—we know of the loss your family suffered in November. Suffice it to say that our thoughts are with you. The Devout Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Winter have joined their prayers to yours, and I have it on good authority (theirs!) that your Dear One is in Good Hands! Master G., your idea of hanging a special stocking was a fine one, but Kris Kringle had a different idea. Each Christmas he will leave a Special Ornament to hang on your Family’s Tree, in remembrance. And this year, he has left Something Else, something from the Wood Shop—he thought it appropriate for your Back Yard, and requested Dorothea Gudwerds of the North Pole Library to track down a Special Poem by one of your Most Famous poets, Emily Dickinson (who, by her language, could have a touch of the fey and elfin in her own blood):
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune—without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Again I’ve run on and made Little Sense, it seems. But you see with the Wisdom of children—I’ve no doubt Some Sense will come of it. Travel safe, my young Friends, and a Very Happy Christmas to you all!
Yours Still and Always,
Blogger’s Addendum: Bren’s opportunity for something a bit more grown-up was a gift card to Cabelas; he’s had is eye on a variety of hunting knives, as well as an UnderArmor hood/facemask. The special gift from the wood shop was a bird feeder. In the spring we intend to do some landscaping back there, including a fruit tree and statue.