All posts by Elf Scarlett

Santa Power: Take Three

Pinecones, Mindfulness and Creating Happiness and Peace

Good Evening All!

This morning while on my way to the office, I noticed a lonely pinecone in the middle of the driveway near the gate.  It wasn’t the first time I had noticed a pinecone here, but more like the fourth or fifth time.  But this morning, instead of going around the pinecone, I stopped the truck and got out to pick it up because I did not want it to get smashed like the others I had seen in the same spot over the fall months.  When I picked up the pinecone I noticed how wonderfully perfect it was!  Absolutely perfect in shape, symmetry and color and I had a moment of clarity in contemplating that pinecone.  I thought about mindfulness and how I had not taken the time to admire the other pinecones — the ones I did not remove from the driveway and which got smashed by either a delivery truck or a garbage truck or another in their haste to get on with their business.  I was, for a moment while contemplating that pinecone completely and fully present in that moment and I thought what a wonderful thing if we could all live our lives this way every day.  Although I slowed down to admire the pinecone I felt energized in a way I have never felt energized before.  I knew what I had to do that day, how to get it all done and I felt eager to begin.  I realized pretty quickly that stopping to admire the pinecone made me acutely aware of what was happening in the here and now.

I thought immediately of this blog and that I should share with you what that pinecone taught me this morning.  I thought again of Santa Power and thought that this exercise of slowing down and contemplating the moment, being present in the moment, is another element of Santa Power which we can all appreciate and practiced.  This act of being mindful can help all of us in our daily lives because it can help us make good decisions and avoid wrong ones.  When we are mindful and we see something joyous and fun we can revel in it and when we forget to exercise our thoughts mindfully we can do things that bring negative experiences upon ourselves–we forget to dwell in the present moment at work and upset our coworkers, we get stuck in the past, we may make financial decisions that hurt us or others.

So I think in that small space of time this morning, the presence of that pinecone (as well as the others I had noticed which had fallen in the same exact spot over the months) was telling me to cultivate my spiritual powers a little better than I had previously been doing.  It was, in essence, challenging me to step forward and take responsibility for my thoughts, words and actions.

I thought about this and the pinecone all day, on and off, and I began to realize, albeit slowly, that the practice of being mindful can help each one of us achieve happiness and peace in our daily lives.  And once this happens, this might even encourage others to become enlightened to do this in their daily lives.  Accordingly, we could prove to ourselves that we can actually do very much to change not only our lives but we can change entire situations in our local communities as well as the global community just by being mindful.  Pretty powerful thoughts.  So tonight, I beckon you to use your Santa Power tomorrow to attempt to be mindful as you move through your day.  You never know what magical events may occur in your life or what magical events you might set in place for others.

Mindfully yours,

Elf Scarlett

P.S.  For an interesting history of the pinecone and its symbolism, see this link. I found this link absolutely fascinating.

Thought for the Day

A Willing Suspension of Disbelief.

“Whether you think you can , or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
—Henry Ford

Many of the adults reading this blog will remember the amazing editorial written by Francis P. Church, editor of The New York Sun which was published on September 21, 1897, in response to the simple question posed by an eight year old girl named Virginia O’Hanlon.  The editorial was entitled, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” and you may read the editorial at this site. Many people think that there was no real eight year old girl and it was only an editorial written for the upcoming Christmas season, but that is not true.  Wikipedia has some history on this young girl and her succeeding life—and a history of what happened to that letter she wrote and it is a very interesting history indeed. You can read it here.

Over the years, I think I have pretty much memorized that editorial but it was not until the last decade that I fully came to appreciate the words of Francis P. Church.  Francis’ words were words meant for all of us, not just Virginia, and that is why he published his response to the letter (in addition of course, to solidifying the position of Virginia’s father who had “dropped back  ten and punted”  in response to his daughter’s question by  indicating that she should write to the editor of the New York Sun  at the same time he pointed out that if the New York Sun said things were true, they were true—talk about passing the buck!)    Francis Church, however, was a brave and smart man and used this incident to make a very powerful statement; he was encouraging all of us to reach into our hearts and minds and recognize that the amazing power of the universe—the power of God or whatever deity an individual revers—is the power behind everything that happens in life.  Note, in the editorial, the following words:

“You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, or even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart.  Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernatural beauty and glory beyond.  Is it all real?  Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else as real and abiding.”

Through this editorial Francis Church was telling all men, women and children that they must use the powerful strength of faith and love to move beyond the veil of earthly illusions – those difficulties we encounter in our modern life—financial struggles, strife in relationships,  problems in the workplace, even including lack of work and income  for many of us presently.  This is hard to do—to find the wormhole that allows a person to believe that they can overcome the difficult things in their life.  It requires what I call a “willing suspension of disbelief” to achieve unison with the universe through faith and love.  But in the words of Francis Church, in my own life I have found that when I remind myself to do this—to move through the wormhole and trust and believe in myself and others is the point at which I begin to experience true joy and begin to accomplish those things that I set out to accomplish.  It is my wish this holiday season, as we make our elfin journeys through helping others, that we remember that we ALL hold the ability within ourselves to overcome difficulties and accordingly thrive despite such difficulties.  And we owe it to each other to do exactly that—and to remember that there is power in the multitudes!

Wishing you all the strength to fulfill your dreams this evening,

Elf Scarlett

Calling All Elves

May the Christmas Spirit be with you!

“It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into the doing that matters.”
—Mother Theresa

Welcome all local elves to our very own San Diego Letters to Santa website!!

It is our hope at Operation Santa Letter San Diego that this site will become a vehicle to bring our community together in the upcoming weeks to help spread goodwill,  happiness  and joy to everyone in our community, to young and old alike, children and those of us who are still children at heart.  Many years ago, when I was living in New York City, I always made time with my kindred elfin friends  who,  despite their busy schedules, always accompanied me as we indulged my elfing habits by bringing joy to many children during the holiday season through trinkets and candies that we distributed locally.  It was not until much later, after several years of “elfing” as I refer to this effort, that I became aware of the United States Postal Service’s Operation Santa.   I always marvel about the fact that I did not make the connection between the scenes in the movie, “Miracle on 34th Street” and the actual USPS Operation Santa, particularly since I must have watched that movie at least fifty times!  It is also very fitting that this blog is being birthed on the Eve of Thanksgiving Day.

I used to start early celebrating the Christmas season in my “prior elfin days” by viewing the assembly of the balloons for the Macy’s parade the night before I would ultimately march down Broadway  in the parade as a clown. I never wanted to be a balloon handler though—I preferred interacting with the children in the crowd as a clown, enjoying the delight on their faces when I performed one of the prat falls we were taught at Clown University  or some amusing trick.  For years prior to moving to San Diego I was part of that New York City Christmas season heralded by the Macy’s Parade and  my ultimate dream was to be a part of the Santa Float and maybe one of these years I will get my wish!  When  each of my children were born, I took them for their first baby “Photo with Santa” at Macy’s New York City flagship store.

The holiday season has always been a magical time for me,  a time that is laden with happy thoughts of the upcoming New Year’s promise of wish fulfillment even beyond the holiday season.  I so much wanted this feeling to last forever for everyone so that the Christmas spirit could live and lift up everyone in its path for the entire succeeding year!  So it is with this feeling of joy and fulfillment that we at Operation Santa Letter San Diego embark on this fledging effort to bring some of this magic and feeling of connectedness to all San Diegans and to particularly unite those children and families among us who need Christmas Elves the most this holiday season—to help bring many needed items that they might not otherwise be able to obtain.

Will you please join me and help me build our own San Diego Elf Team?

It would be an absolute honor to work with you to continue this tradition of bringing joy to needy children and families this holiday season and beyond.  May we all look forward to the day that hundreds of thousands of Santa Letters written by needy children here in San Diego are answered just like they are in New York City!  And I can promise all prospective San Diegan Elves that the amount of joy you will experience by being a part of this effort will far surpass your expectations!

Elf Scarlett