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!
Bless my soul, but you’ve thrown a wrinkle in my writing! Again, the four of you have been on Your Very Best Behavior (all in all), so I’ve had my attention elsewhere—joining the Watcher Corps to observe and encourage those Children-on-the-Cusp, who drift from Naughty to Nice and back again throughout the year and may need a Pre-Christmas Nudge to keep them aright. Our Director of Circumstance, Miss Incognita Trueheart, and her team of Elfin Infiltrators secretly arrange opportunities for these children to do what is Right and Good, free from distraction or wicked influence, and most “Cuspers” thereby prove their True Loving Natures and merit the Nice List.
But back to the point: Such is time to an elf already centuries old, and so engaged was I in the trials of my other Young Charges, that I overlooked the Blesséd Arrival of little Lillian Clara, your delightful Baby Sister! I had thus already penned my letter to Masters Brendan, Gabriel, and Trevor, and the lovely (and still special, regardless of what your Father says in jest), Miss Emma, when the Goodchild Twins burst into my room with bright grins, all a-flutter. Now, the Goodchilds (or Goodchildren, as they prefer to be known), are the daughters of Old Abacus, the Master Counter, who for long centuries stretching to millennia, has aided my forefathers on the Quill side with assembling The List for the Old Man, ensuring no one is left off! Plethora Goodchild is herself a Nursery Watcher, whose sole responsibility is to monitor the hospitals, huts, ambulances, and baby-rooms of the world—anywhere a New Someone might appear, and add the Infant’s name to our records. Oftentimes she knows Who and Where to watch, for her sister, Firtilitee, is an elfin Midwife, who aids in the Arrivals of our Own Kind and has an eye for spying Baby Bumps, even on humans. Indeed, it was Plethora and Firtilitee Goodchild who first told me of the Expectation and Loss of little Jude last autumn, and they have watched your Dear Mother with much joyful anticipation these several months! Welcome, Lily! A very Merry Christmas indeed! Santa is most pleased to have Another Reason to stop over, and I am grateful for another Wee One to bring along in the Ways of Christmas!
You Older Ones have asked no questions of me this year, though I suspect you hold some close to your Hearts. It is no Crime to doubt Father Christmas and his Ways, for he is not only Bold and Jolly, but also Cunning and Elusive as the Artic Fox which pilfers ptarmigans from our coops! When you seek him hardest he slips your grasp, only do not lose your Sense of Wonder—for it is there, in your sleeping and waking Dreams—that you will find the Saintly Old Sprite, warming his hands o’er the Fire of your Own Heart. You’ll know he is Real when you do the Hard Work he does—the work that Christ Himself assigned to each of us: loving Each Other, our Neighbors, and our Enemies. Christmas is not about Any of Us, after all—it is always about Someone Else entirely (and the Child in the Manger, of course).
Ah, but I ramble so, and have run out of paper! A Very Happy Christmas to you all!