Merry Almost Christmas!

You know, one of the very best parts of all things Christmas – besides cookies – is that warm glow you get when you make a new pal or spend time with an old one.

For me, this Christmas was about making a new and most wonderful friend, Kevin.

Right off the candy cane, you might think we are too different to be close.

I, after all, am 13 – practically a grown-up.

Even though we share a birthdate, which is pretty dazzy, there is a world of maturity between a sweet 10-year-old and a sophisticated 13-year-old.

Now Kevin, being a boy and being 10, might seem too, well, boyish and immature. But he needed me, and to be very honest, I needed him, too.

Down South, where Kevin lives, he was having the hardest time.

Keeping Christmas spirit strong is super important to Kevin. And though he was trying really hard, he was running into major roadblocks.

Eventually we were bound to meet. I heard his calls for help with Christmas.

Voices as pure as Kevin’s travel far. And Kevin’s voice and spirit and love of Christmas are 1,000,000,000% pure.

Is that an actual percent? I’m not positive. If it isn’t, it should be.

Next thing you know, Kevin’s inviting me to his new home down South. Well, he meant to invite me; I pick up on things, you know.

He lives with his mother, a rather serious woman, with a good heart but one of those reporters who has to have everything proven to her – twice – before she’ll believe it.

And that was Kevin’s first big problem. He loves his mom, but she just didn’t get how important Christmas is to him or to anyone.

So I arrived, in a sleigh pulled by Randy, all ribboned and bowed, and vowed to help Kevin get his town in the spirit.

The town was just sad. This was sadder than you get when you’re only eating kale and no cookies. This was the sort of sad where people forget how to smile and give each other gifts. The mayor and other stuffy people in suits were letting Christmas pass as if it were just any old day. Kevin’s classmates made fun of him for trying to pump up the spirit. Something just had to be done.

If you know people suffering from such malaise (vocab word!), please help them, too. Give them a cookie and a hug – providing you know them, and ask what they want for Christmas. Help them decorate their home, anything to rekindle the magic.

Nobody needed to convince Kevin how important Christmas is, but to bolster his spirit I took him on a little trip – to Northpole! He met Santa and Mrs. Claus. They instantly know when someone’s spirit shines true and bright.

Going home, Kevin had a hard time convincing his mom about me, about Santa and what he saw in Northpole. As I mentioned, she is a good woman, she was just busy being too skeptical.

She accepted me as Kevin’s friend, and allowed me to help Kevin spread Christmas joy. Some friendships, like ours, are just destined. It could be charted from the dimming of the Northern Lights to making them glow bright again. If you want to see that happen, you could watch how we kept the spirit strong. I don’t like to take anyone away from Christmas fun, but if you’re wrapping and want to relax a little, tune in to Hallmark Channel, where our story is told in “Northpole.”

Bug hugs with sprinkles,