Dear Boys, There Is a Santa Claus


Dear Boys, There Is a Santa Claus | Columbia SC Moms Blog

Dear Boys,

There is Santa Claus.

When I was young, there were Christmas seasons our family had very little. My sister, brother, and I never knew, because our hearts were so full of the holiday magic happening around us. I remember sitting on the cold wood pew during Midnight Mass – fighting sleep and worrying Santa Claus would beat us back to our house. All these years later I still think of Rudolph when I drive those country roads and see the tower with the red light on top, because during my childhood that light WAS Rudolph.

I want you to believe in magic and mystery, and be young at heart. I want you to stop worrying about the real world for a bit, and find a safe space to be childlike.

When your friends tell you they found their gifts deep in the back of a closet, I want you to think of the lettuce you leave in the yard or the carrots you throw on our roof for the reindeer – and believe.

When your friends list the gadgets and goodies they will receive from their parents, I want you to think of the screenless, wireless, heartfelt gifts the elves have made for you in the North Pole – and believe.
When your friends give you grief about the eight tiny reindeer or the “naughty list,” think of looking up into the night sky on the way home from Midnight Mass in search of THE Christmas Star and Rudolph’s nose – and believe.

When your friends talk about sleeping in on Christmas morning, I want you to think of running into our room and waking us up (too early) with your little brothers, piling onto our bed, and just being together for a few minutes – and believe.

When your friends judge you for putting such an emphasis on our magic, remind them we light our Advent wreath each night, baby Jesus is placed in the manger before the first gift is touched, and you give three things before you ask for three things – and believe.

And remember, if they don’t believe in our magic, it’s okay.Dear Boys, There Is a Santa Claus | Columbia SC Moms Blog

There are some people who will try to explain the magic to you. Listen … then tell them that Cupid spreads dozens of hearts on our walls and always leaves a few bottles of “sparkly juice” for you. Tell them we still laugh uncontrollably when the Leprechaun spray paints shamrocks on the driveway. And explain how the Easter Bunny always finds us – no matter where we are on Easter morning.

Tell them about our snow dances, and that even though they don’t always work –  we keep doing them anyway.

Santa Claus comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Santa Claus is about giving, sharing, and taking care of others. Santa Claus in your heart.

Let this time of year, and all our family does, be your safe place. And believe.



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Lila Anna is the happily unbalanced mother of five boys. She is an advocate for homeless families, a recovering triathlete, and a sleep deprived 40-something who doesn’t see her yoga mat enough. She was blessed enough to have three wonderful boys (Michael, 14, Colin, 12 and Aidan, 10) … then, after a seven year break and just as she turned 40, got what she calls her “buy one, get one free babies,” Heath and Graeme (now 3). Once fiercely independent, Lila Anna now relies heavily on the help, kindness and understanding of a very loyal group of friends she calls her “village.” This village allows her to dedicate her heart and time to Trinity Housing and St. Lawrence Place – the non-profit for homeless and at-risk families she leads as President/CEO – all the while managing to run a house full of baseball and football schedules and four different carpools. Lila Anna is passionate about all children, especially those living at risk or in poverty. She treats her St. Lawrence Place children as her own, and advocates for them at the State House, at City Hall, or on any given street corner. Her position at Trinity Housing gives her the chance to give homeless families and their children a voice. She has been a guest lecturer at USC and Columbia College, and has presented nationally on the topics of child poverty, education and family homelessness. She is a native of Springfield in rural Orangeburg County, home of the Governor’s Frog Jump (thus her frog tattoo), and is a graduate of USC with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She got her Master’s from Columbia College in Organizational Change and Leadership, and graduated a few weeks before giving birth to her twins. Her five boys are just like their daddy, “Saint” Brad – fun-loving, even keeled, and incredibly helpful. She enjoys cooking with the help of at least one set of small hands, running (slowly) with friends, and daydreaming about her next trip to Edisto Beach or New York City. One day she hopes to compete in triathlons again in the Athena division (thus her owl tattoo). Most of all, she loves just hanging out with her boys…all six of them. Lila Anna and her boys live in Forest Acres, where they are two blocks from the ballfield and no more than 10 minutes away from everything else. She is happy to share how she embraces her unbalance … and all the fun and love that comes with it.


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