Isn’t it remarkable how a simple phrase can have such an important meaning? Once upon a time … lets us know that a story is about to begin and we are embarking on a journey of imagination and wonder.
My four-year old daughter recently started asking me to tell her stories after our bedtime books are finished. I’m conscious of the fact that this may very well be a sleep-stalling technique, and a very effective one at that, but for me it has been an invitation for us both to enter the world of possibility. Together we curate our own story, usually with characters that include our family, and we’re typically off riding unicorns in space and dancing on stars. I must admit that initially I find it very difficult and feel pressured to create a great story on the spot, but once we begin, the story unveils itself quite naturally. Before I know it, my daughter is fast asleep and I’m left with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart.
During the holiday season, we are surrounded by wonderful stories. Our children are learning about Old St. Nick and Rudolph’s red nose, and how oil lasted for eight days during Hanukkah when there was only believed to be enough for one night. There is a feeling of abundance in the air and the chance for a miracle. For many of us, these holiday stories conjure vivid memories of our own childhood and family traditions, and they allow us to time travel back to the moment when we first heard them. Do you remember that moment? Do you remember when you still believed or perhaps that moment when you stopped believing?
This season, I find myself thinking of our students – many of them have experienced unimaginable hardships – loss of a family member or uncertainty of where they’ll lay their head at night. For so many of our Book Trust students, the books they choose each month create life-long memories and allow them to travel to far off places whenever they want to believe or create; the books bring joy, laughter, magical journeys, and a pathway to reach their dreams.
Thank you for giving the gift of life-long memories and for being a very special part of our holiday story. I can’t think of a better way to spend $100 than investing in the current joy and future success of a child.
From all of us at Book Trust, we wish you a blessed Holiday and a magical New Year full of your own “Once Upon a Times…”!