One of my favorite traditions is one that started last year. In the letter that Santa leaves for the littles, he decided to start giving them a word for the year. For 2012, Gabriel’s word was Believe, Ethan’s word was Joy, and Summer’s word was Dream. This year, he left them another letter with new words for 2013.
Dear Gabriel, Ethan, and Summer,
I have so enjoyed watching you all bloom in 2012. Each time your momma found something with your special word on it, it made me smile. The one thing that you showed me this year is how much you love your family. Out of everything that you can do in life, there is nothing that will make your parents more proud than for you to always love, protect, and defend each other.
Gabriel, your word for next year is Peace. I have watched you believe this year, not just in the things that others believe, but in the things that you know, in your heart, are important to you. As you believed, you gained a quiet confidence that has made your parents so proud. This year, I want you to build on that belief with a peace that truly passes understanding. No matter what you do, whether it is playing in a soccer game, making a new friend, or taking an important test, always find peace in all that you do. Finding that peace will continue to take you so far in life.
Ethan, your word is Strength. As I am sure your momma and papa have told you, your name means “Strong Gift of the Lord.” You are a gift, sweet boy, and your strength has done so much for you. You, young man, are one of the strongest boys who I have ever watched grow. The obstacles that you have conquered would have destroyed weaker people, but you have only let the challenges make your stronger. Continue to be strong, as you continue to find your way in this world. Others will seek that strength inside of you because it is one of the things that make you so incredibly special.
Summer, your word is Happy. I have never seen a little girl with such a zest for life. Your momma shared with me how a little boy in your class this year looked at your teacher and said, “Why is she always so happy?” Sweet, sweet girl, there are few things in life as wonderful as a happy heart. My hope for you is that you keep that happiness inside of you always, in all that you do. It is something that no one can ever take away from you, and it is also something that others will need for you to share with them.
As I watch your family, I believe that the perfect word that unites you all is Love. When you have the kind of love that you share, it is easy to have Peace, find Strength in all you do, and always be Happy.