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A few weeks ago I heard my son say to his brother, “I wish I still believed in Santa Claus.” It was sad for me to hear him say that because it meant that the wonder and surprise of the whole idea of Santa coming down the chimney on Christmas Eve was gone. It meant that the cards on the gifts that said “From Santa” wouldn’t fool anyone anymore. And even though we stopped putting out milk and cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve a few years ago, I knew for sure that childhood chapter had already closed.

That is until my children have children of their own. Hope and joy!

So, we won’t feed the reindeer this year but we’ll tell our younger neighbors to do that, and we won’t put out cookies but we’ll tell our 5-year-old niece not to forget. I think you can always believe in the wonder of Christmas if you open your heart to it—no matter how old you are. It’s a magical time of year and I wish everyone a beautiful Christmas.

There are a few books that I will never get rid of. Books like “Goodnight, Moon,” “If You Give A Moose A Muffin,” and “In the Night Kitchen.” The other one I will never part with is “The Polar Express.”

“The Polar Express” was written by Chris Van Allsburg. The story takes place late one Christmas Eve after a town has gone to sleep. A boy boards a mysterious train bound for the North Pole. Santa offers the boy any gift he desires. The boy modestly asks for one bell from the harness of the reindeer.

The gift request is granted but, on the way home, the bell is lost. On Christmas morning the boy finds the bell under his Christmas tree. His mother thinks it’s broken because she cannot hear it ringing. But the child could hear it.

Is it all a dream? Is it the magic of the night? Is it the Star of Wonder in the sky that gives you hope? Is it called believing?

“The North Pole. It was a huge city standing alone at the top of the world, filled with factories where every Christmas toy was made. At first we saw no elves. ‘They are gathering at the center of the city,’ the conductor told us. ‘That’s where Santa will give the first gift of Christmas.’

“‘Who receives the first gift?’ we all asked.

“‘He will choose one of you.’

“‘What I wanted more than anything was one silver bell from Santa’s sleigh.’”

Open your heart and let the spirit in. You will hear the clear ringing of the bell if you believe.

Merry Christmas!

P.S. I’m not so sure that there is no Santa Claus for I thought I saw him riding on an Eastport Fire Department fire truck last Saturday …

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