Do you sometimes feel the holidays are so busy you don’t have time to think about the true meaning of the season? Chloe was having a hard time getting excited for Christmas—until her Mom brought out the magic family box!
Each night Chloe and her family sat down to write each other kind notes of appreciation and put them in the magic family box. On Christmas morning they got to share the notes they had written. And do you know what happened? Their hearts filled with love and gratitude for each other, and a new crafty holiday tradition full of love was born.
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.10(d)|
Read an Excerpt
The Magic Family Box
By Tasha Richard, Clarke MacDonald
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 Tasha Richard
All rights reserved.
"Bye, guys. See you tomorrow," Chloe said to her friends as she got off the school bus. It was the end of November and the air was crisp. Chloe pulled the turquoise hat she had made snugly down over her ears.
As she headed up her street with her brother James, Chloe could see her mom with their younger brother and sister. They were untangling the colored lights that would go on the Christmas tree and the house.
Every Christmas the Taylor family decorated their house with sparkling lights and giant candy canes. It was one of the many ways Chloe's family celebrated the holiday season, by making everything warm and bright.
"Oh, great! You guys are home!" huffed Mom as she dragged the lights to the ladder. "Many hands make light work!"
Chloe groaned. "Ah, Mom, do I have to help? I don't feel like decorating. We are just going to have to take everything down again after Christmas."
Her mom paused on the ladder. "Chloe, what's wrong? You love decorating for Christmas! It is one of your favorite traditions for your favorite time of year!"
"Oh, all right. I'll help," said Chloe as she started to drag a giant candy cane to a stand next to the front door.
Later that night, after supper and homework, Mom pulled out her special, colored writing pens. She passed out the Christmas writing paper, decorated with presents and ribbons around the border.
"Okay, kiddos. Time to write your letters to Santa! The Christmas Parade is only days away!" she announced cheerfully.
On the weekend, the Taylor kids would go to the big Christmas Parade in their town, carrying all their Christmas wishes in their letters to Santa. After the bands and floats, the clowns and candy, at the end of the parade was Santa. Santa's elves walked alongside the big sleigh, gathering everyone's letters to take them back to the North Pole.
As Amelie and Max looked through a toy catalog and James looked at toy websites on the computer with their dad, Chloe sat with her chin on her hands, trying to think of what to write.
What's wrong with me? thought Chloe. Why can't I think of anything I want? Why am I having such a hard time getting excited about Christmas this year?
The year before, Chloe could hardly sleep on Christmas Eve- she was so excited to rush to the tree in the morning and see what Santa had brought. Her pile of presents included almost everything she had asked for, including a real sewing machine so she could turn her clothing designs into real clothes to wear.
Chloe knew she should have been over-the-moon with the excitement and anticipation of the holiday. She couldn't understand why, deep in her stomach, she felt disappointed and sad.
"So, Chloe, did you find anything you want to put on your list this year?" asked her mom.
Chloe replied glumly, "I don't know, Mom."
Mom sat down at the table next to Chloe. "Why, Chloe, that doesn't sound like you! You usually can't wait to make your list! You're usually the first one done, and the first one to hand your letter to Santa at the parade."
Chloe was close to tears. "I know, Mom. I was so happy with all of the presents I got last year. But I'm remembering that, once they were opened, I just felt a little bit empty inside."
Mom nodded, and her voice got soft. "Chloe, do you remember how hard you worked at making me the beautiful bracelet you gave me for Christmas last year?"
"Yes," Chloe replied, as her tears stopped flowing.
"And do you remember how happy I was when I opened it?" Mom asked.
"Yes," Chloe said cautiously, not really understanding what her mom was saying.
"And how much I loved the card you made me because of the nice things you said?"
"Yes, Mom! But what does that have to do with my Christmas list to Santa?"
"Well, Chloe, I think I know why you're feeling what you're feeling. But I need to show you instead of of telling you. I have just the thing to put you in the spirit of Christmas!" said Mom, her eyes sparkling with excitement. "It will be waiting for all of you after school."
Chloe wondered why her mom was being so mysterious. But if it was something that would bring back the happiness she usually felt at Christmas, it had to be a good surprise.
The next day, Chloe ran home from the bus stop. Just as she had promised, her mother gathered her children together and had something waiting for them.
"What is this, Mom? It just looks like a plain old box to me," Chloe said with disappointment.
Excerpted from The Magic Family Box by Tasha Richard, Clarke MacDonald. Copyright © 2014 Tasha Richard. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
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