I know of a family that has mischievous elves visit their house during the Christmas season. These rogue Santa helpers play silly and harmless pranks throughout the month of December. They might, for example, decorate the living room with toilet paper or leave a trail of cookie crumbs in the kitchen. I first learned about this family's tradition last year and thought it would be fun to incorporate it into our holiday festivities down the road. But recently, I was given an even better reason to invite these mirthful friends into our home.
One of my best friends recently told me about a little girl named Catie Marie who lost her battle to cancer last January. She was 4 1/2 years old. You can read more about her and her family here. Grab some tissue and be sure to watch the video "A Few of my Favorite Things." Then give your healthy children a big hug.
I'm so thankful my friend shared this site with me because I was having one of those days - you know the kind when you feel grumpy, exhausted and snotty because you've come down with the sniffles again and your sick baby just drooled and sneezed all over you. Yes, I was definitely behaving very much like Eeyore and was the star hostess of a big pity party. Then I read this family's story of watching their child endure multiple surgeries and rigorous chemo treatments for 3 1/2 years (she was diagnosed with a brain tumor shortly after her first birthday). After a short but profound life, Catie said good-bye to this world and hello to heaven. And there I was complaining about a stinkin' cold, being tired and having a preschooler who refuses to sleep when there are families who have children fighting for their lives. Shame on me.
I have much to be grateful during this holiday season, including three healthy, albeit sneezy, kids. When I read about Catie and her struggle, I started balling, but then I wiped away the tears (and cold-triggered snot) and decided to stop feeling so sorry for myself, to count my infinite blessings and to support a worthy cause Catie's family is endorsing.
Apparently, this little girl, like the family I know, also had an elf visit her home. It was one of her favorite traditions, so Catie's mom decided to do what she could to carry it on in honor of her daughter. In turn, the company where she "recruited" her elves responded by creating a charity where for $20 people can buy an elf for a child who has cancer. But the best part is the company will also donate 30 percent of the proceeds to Cure Childhood Cancer. You can read more about Catie's holiday tradition and this worthy cause the Host An Elf company is now supporting here.
So even if you don't plan on inviting any impish little guys into your home this holiday, please help to make Christmas brighter for a child with cancer. Here's how:
1. Go to Host an Elf.
2. Click the "Host an Elf" button.
3. Scroll down on the products section at this link. You'll see a picture of Catie with her elf, who she discovered playing in the flour on the kitchen floor last Christmas.
4. Then click on "add to cart" to donate an elf to a child with cancer. For just $20, you'll not only add some magic and cheer to a child's Christmas, you'll also be making a donation to Cure Childhood Cancer.
Thank you for your support. Help spread the word by including links on your blogs, etc. And if your kids are healthy like mine, say a quick prayer of thanksgiving.