Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Bella and the Wish

letters, Christmas, Santa, children


This past October took I took a ride to the Deerfield Candle Factory with Pamela and our Australian friends Maureen and Mark.
The place was decked out in the traditional Christmas array of sights, sounds and scents.
It’s a magical place and if you have the time to get there before December 25th, I highly recommend that you do.
There’s even a nighttime Bavarian Village lit by vintage flickering streetlamps where it snows every 4 minutes.
It’s a place filled with secret wishes, sugarplum dreams, amazing tree ornaments and obviously every imaginable scented candle you
could ever dream of including, ‘Brown Paper Packages’ and ‘First Down’,
a mancandle that may possibly smell of broken NFL dreams and dirty jock straps, or not.
The ‘Man Candles’ gave me much in the pause department: Riding Mower, 2X4 and Mantown?
No Super Sweaty Golf Balls?
And lastly the weirdest 2 candles (to me) were ‘Whiskers on Kittens’ and ‘Schnitzel and Noodles’.
Don’t bogart that joint my friend, pass it over to me.
What the hell do whiskers smell like and how would they actually make that scent?
Be on the lookout for my own list of the top 10 rejected Yankee Candle Scents.

Turns out that this post isn’t about candle scents and snowflakes it’s about the letter that you see at the top of my post.
A good portion of the DCF caters to children during the Christmas season and I happened to walk by a corkboard filled with letters written by children of all ages to the holiday machine we created and called ‘Kris Kringle’.
Most letters were as you would suspect:

“Dear Santa,
Please bring me an Xbox 360 with at least 2 games and a new Nano Ipod because I lost mine.
An Ipad would be great but I won’t count on that. My parents are too cheap to buy me one.
Say hi to Rudolph for me. And I promise to leave you cookies and milk this year.
I love you!”


“Dear Santa, Hi! How are you? How are your reindeer doing?
What are you doing in the North Poal? I am so ecxited about Chrismas.
I woud like a CD player and a Gameboy Advance and a backpack.
by Ann”

Let me see if I got this right;
Bella doesn’t want anything for herself,
She wants happiness for her Mom because her Dad is a jerk,
She wants happiness for her family,
And she wants Santa to make her cousin Chrystal’s life better.
This little girl ‘gets’ the holiday while the world goes on not even taking notice of this most simple prayer.
And yes, it is a most vibrant Christmas prayer.

We are bombarded on a daily basis with commercials, videos, signs, radio commercials, TV commercials
and pop-ups on our computers telling us to be happy because that’s what this season is all about.
Where the hell did we go wrong?
This little girl sent me a  personal message in the most innocent of ways telling me that this most blessed of holidays
is not about acquiring the most expensive of gifts.
It’s not about the stuff under the tree.
It’s about the people AROUND the tree that make the difference.
Right now, this little girl doesn’t have that.
Her letter made me cry inside because it was absolutely true.
This disjointed familial stuff pervades our society and the world at large.
A happy holiday?
Maybe for some.
Sadly, not for all.
Try to see through the commercial glitz and glamour of a holiday that has literally spiraled out of control in terms of meaning and substance.
Get away from the artificial joyful noise and the constant jingle bells where you will hopefully arrive at a place where your heart can be happy without the need for the stuff that the Media says you need to be happy.

For me?
I want BellaM to get every single thing on her list this year.
Maybe even a pony for good measure.
I will say a prayer for her on Christmas Eve even though I don’t even know her.
And I will pray she gets love.
Stockings full of love.
How about you?
just saying . . .



  1. My mom used to say to me, Deborah, when you are on your deathbed what do you want surrounding you? Money? Your possessions ? Or your family? My parents taught me early on that family , at Christmastime or any other time was what was most important in my life.
    Recently I began losing faith in people who don’t understand that concept. I look around and see that family does not always come first with many. But…. I try to educate on priorities in life, then move on.
    Michael, thank you and say hi to Pam.

    So glad you read this post, Deb.
    I knew you would understand exactly where it’s coming from.
    Pamela says hi back.
    Thanks again for taking the time to read here.
    I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

  2. Another home run story! The way I like to judge a good story is does it get me thinking? Does it regenerate old memories that you have long forgotten about? And lastly, does it make you feel good? Yours my friend has hit the trifecta on the emotions scale. We have allowed society (and to some degree ourselves) distort the true meaning of Christmas. And to some extent I guess it can be somewhat pleasurable to get those well sought after items we ‘have’ to have. That being said maybe we all need to take a step back and rethink the real meaning of Christmas. The emotion that your story has ignited in me the best was my memory. For years my grandfather owned a farm in Limerick Maine. It was a sleepy little town where everybody truly knew every body.The memories I have of some of the Christmas’s my family had there, are so vivid at times it’s almost had to believe. Old school cooking on a huge wood fired stove and oven. Snowmobiling, hanging out in the barn with lots of different animals, and tons of cousins and siblings. Warming up inside by the wood stoves in every bedroom because that’s how the farmhouse was heated. And just the energy that home had in the mornings with 20 or so family members spread all over the house, and just starting to wake. Although we did get gifts, it was a simple Christmas for sure. And although my grandfather is now long gone, and the cousins have long since grown, and entered their own journey in life. And although we don’t get together as much as we used to…those memories will never dull. They have made such an impact on my life they can never be erased. And for that I’ll be forever grateful. Now those were great Christmas’s!!!!!

    Just have to thank you for sharing this, Squig.
    Have you ever thought of starting a blog?
    I know a guy that could get you going.
    Your memories are quite vivid and most definitely from the heart.
    Not saying we need to re-think the holiday but I do feel we all need to get away from not only
    the auditory ‘noise’ of the season but the visual ‘noise’ as well.
    I do hope you’re up and about before Christmas.
    Thanks again, bud.

  3. ~m

    Another great post! I’m with you and Bella. Love and happiness….remembering loved ones no longer with us….let the jerks stop being jerks….and most of all….happiness for families!

    Merry Christmas !!

    Thanks so much for dropping by, Deb.
    We are family!

  4. This is so sad but so true for many. I’ve been re-thinking Christmas over the last few years and have made changes to get away from the glitz and hoopla. I wish we could do something for the Bella’s of the world. We can do all the coin dropping into buckets and Toys for Tots we want to make us feel good about doing our part but if the home is unhappy, that doll they open on Christmas day will be a fleeting joy, I hope Bella’s folks or whoever brought her to Yankee Candle that day got a look at her letter, too.

    I wondered if someone had seen the letter as well.
    I remember reading it and rubbing my eyes to make sure I was actually seeing what I was seeing.
    Home truly is where the heart is.
    Thanks so much for taking the time to not only read but comment, Denise.
    Much appreciated.

  5. Why, I see you’ve been decorating for Christmas.
    It sounds like Bella is getting Santa mixed up with Jesus.
    Guess it’s time to dig out all my Xmas CDs.
    Enjoy all the Christmas mess!

    I’m thinking Bella knows who she’s talking to here, yes? 😉
    And Christmasness? LOL
    I made up that word for one of my Christmas songs!!!
    Nice to see you!

  6. We didn’t go totally wrong Michael. If we can relate to an angel’s request, there is still hope. And it is not the difference between Santa and Jesus, it is all about Jesus. We celebrate Christmas because of Jesus.

    I’m with you, my friend and brother.
    He is the reason for the season.
    Amen to that.
    Thanks, Butch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


© 2016 Smoke and Mirrors

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑