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Inspired Living

25 Days of Cheer (Day 25)

Sarah Stanley

How to Put the Magic Back Into Your Holidays!
It was Christmas again and my sisters and I were once again stymied by the challenge of what to get
our Mom. She had everything she could want and what she didn’t, she’d get herself. So what on earth
could we give her that would be special, memorable, and desired. She asked, and asked, and asked and
finally, we listened and delivered . . . a flexible flyer.
I know, it sounds crazy. Here she was at fifty-five years of wisdom but she had always wanted a
wooden sled, you know the old fashioned kind with red metal runners on it. She’d made the request
before but we never took it seriously. At this point we finally considered that maybe she really did know
what she wanted and rather than over think it, and give what we each thought would be best, we’d just
answer the wish. So simple, and so significant. And of course, we were reminded of our mother’s keen
childlike sense of wonder, a curiosity that enabled her to collect friends as most collect trinkets.
Christmas eve we assembled on our stone patio in Connecticut. We were joined by a family friend,
Gusty Hornblower (short for Augusta, and yes that was her real name. Rumor had it she came from a
prominent Bostonian family of politicians!) Gusty had disappeared to parts unknown temporarily, and
we were all four (two sisters and I and Mom) all on the patio bundled in our wintery best.
It was a beautiful night, just cold enough for a few flurries, whispy clouds above, a huge brilliant moon
lighting up the sky. There were a couple of inches of snow on the hillside that ran down to the pool from
the day before and you could just see the inky black silhouettes of trees dotting the landscape.
Mom came to the sliding glass door as we giggled in the corner attempting to hide the sled in festive
paper with a large red bow, behind us. When she slid open the door, she was vision in fur. Standing a
petite 5’3 (she always claimed and ¾”) with her rabbit fur boots and her lynx coat to the top of those,
she laughed with glee and clapped her hands in delight as she saw us pull out her new toy.
Plunking the big red gift bow on her head, she dragged the sled to the edge of the patio and dropped
it over the edge and slid laughing all the way to the bottom of the hill. As she rounded the evergreen
at the bottom of the tree, who to our wondering eyes appeared but Santa Claus! Complete in red and
white festive attire with a sack of toys on his back and “ho-ho-hoing” up the hill.
I was transported to Christmas as a child, jumping up and down and shouting “Santa Claus, Santa
Claus, Santa Claus.” Mom was startled but amused. We really had no idea it wasn’t Santa Claus until
that “Ho, Ho, Ho!” got close enough that we could hear a Boston accent. Yes, it did turn out to be our
friend Gusty, and for one brief shining moment in my adult life, I was a mere child of six again, and my
Mother was her own little girl again, wrapped in warm woolies and dusted with snow from her ride
down the hill. She gave us the greatest gift of all, the gift to revisit our own sense of childlike wonder
and curiosity.
It was a magical Eve, never seen before or since and one I will always cherish. I learned then that magic
happens when you least expect, when you can be a child again, and when you listen and deliver instead
of over thinking, over analyzing, and being such a grown up. Find your inner child and you’ll tap your
When you want more inspiration, just head over to www.todaybydesign.com for motivation, mindset and more
to inspire your life and empower your business. Melissa Galt is the daughter of the late actress and Oscar winner
Anne Baxter, she remembers her mother fondly and especially at Christmas as 12/12/10 is the 25th anniversary of
Baxter’s death.

Merry Christmas! And welcome to the last day of Project Cheer. I hope you have enjoyed the series as much as I have. Remember to spread cheer all year long! Our last cheer is brought to you by Melissa Galt.

What is Project Cheer? Here is a brief overview. Cheers!

Cheer #25) How to Put the Magic Back Into Your Holidays!

It was Christmas again and my sisters and I were once again stymied by the challenge of what to get our Mom. She had everything she could want and what she didn’t, she’d get herself. So what on earth could we give her that would be special, memorable, and desired. She asked, and asked, and asked and finally, we listened and delivered . . . a flexible flyer.

I know, it sounds crazy. Here she was at 55 years of wisdom but she had always wanted a wooden sled, you know the old fashioned kind with red metal runners on it. She’d made the request before but we never took it seriously. At this point we finally considered that maybe she really did know what she wanted and rather than over think it, and give what we each thought would be best, we’d just answer the wish. So simple, and so significant. And of course, we were reminded of our mother’s keen childlike sense of wonder, a curiosity that enabled her to collect friends as most collect trinkets.

Christmas Eve we assembled on our stone patio in Connecticut. We were joined by a family friend, Gusty Hornblower (short for Augusta, and yes that was her real name. Rumor had it she came from a prominent Bostonian family of politicians!) Gusty had disappeared to parts unknown temporarily, and we were all four (two sisters and I and Mom) on the patio bundled in our wintery best.

It was a beautiful night, just cold enough for a few flurries, whispy clouds above, a huge brilliant moon lighting up the sky. There were a couple of inches of snow on the hillside that ran down to the pool from the day before and you could just see the inky black silhouettes of trees dotting the landscape.

Mom came to the sliding glass door as we giggled in the corner attempting to hide the sled in festive paper with a large red bow, behind us. When she slid open the door, she was vision in fur. Standing a petite 5’3" (she always claimed and ¾”) with her rabbit fur boots and her lynx coat to the top of those, she laughed with glee and clapped her hands in delight as she saw us pull out her new toy.

Plunking the big red gift bow on her head, she dragged the sled to the edge of the patio and dropped it over the edge and slid laughing all the way to the bottom of the hill. As she rounded the evergreen at the bottom of the tree, who to our wondering eyes appeared but Santa Claus! Complete in red and white festive attire with a sack of toys on his back and “ho-ho-hoing” up the hill.

I was transported to Christmas as a child, jumping up and down and shouting “Santa Claus, Santa Claus, Santa Claus.” Mom was startled but amused. We really had no idea it wasn’t Santa Claus until that “Ho, Ho, Ho!” got close enough that we could hear a Boston accent. Yes, it did turn out to be our friend Gusty, and for one brief shining moment in my adult life, I was a mere child of six again, and my mother was her own little girl again, wrapped in warm woolies and dusted with snow from her ride down the hill. She gave us the greatest gift of all, the gift to revisit our own sense of childlike wonder and curiosity.

It was a magical Eve, never seen before or since and one I will always cherish. I learned then that magic happens when you least expect, when you can be a child again, and when you listen and deliver instead of over thinking, over analyzing, and being such a grown up. Find your inner child and you’ll tap your

When you want more inspiration, just head over to www.todaybydesign.com for motivation, mindset and more to inspire your life and empower your business. Melissa Galt is the daughter of the late actress and Oscar winner Anne Baxter, she remembers her mother fondly and especially at Christmas as 12/12/10 is the 25th anniversary of Baxter’s death.