My wife and I were chatting on the couch in my office when we heard a knock on the door.

“Enter,” I called out.

Hanna walked in holding a tray. “Doheny just made a fresh batch of Snicker Doodles and I thought you both would like to have some.” She set the tray on the desk and handed Ms. Claus and I a cookie.

“Nice and warm,” I mumbled after taking the first bite.

“I also made a cup of your favorite tea Ms. Claus and a cup of hot cocoa for you Santa.”

“That’s so sweet of you Hanna,” my wife responded as she scooted to the edge of the couch.

When Hanna reached for the two cups, she bumped the Nesting Dolls sitting on my desk, causing them to fall to the floor, and each one rolled out of the other.

“I’m so sorry Santa!” Hanna exclaimed.

“No harm done. You can help me put them back together.”

As the elf knelt on the floor to collect the pieces she stared at their sizes. “I didn’t realize all these dolls were nested inside each other.”

“These are old Russian Nesting Dolls,” Anya explained. “Santa has had these for hundreds of years.”

Hanna gave me a quizzical look, and I knew she wanted to know more.

“You see each one means something different and reminds me of why I do what I do.”

She gave me the smallest doll and asked what it represented.

“That one stands for the magic of Christmas, and it fits right into ….” I began looking for the right doll when Ms. Claus handed me the pieces.

“Thanks, Anya.” I placed the smallest doll between the two parts. “This one is for the joy children and families experience at Christmas time.”

“I bet that one fits into this one,” Hanna said and gave me the matching segments of the next doll.

“Yes, it does. And it represents the kindness everyone shows towards others during the season.”

“Then they all fit into this last doll,” the elf cried.

“You’re right.” I held up the doll and grinned. “It reminds me of how I began giving gifts to children and their families as a young man named Nicolas of Myra.”

With all the dolls safely nested inside of each other, I sat down by my wife who nodded toward Hanna.

Still kneeling on the floor, she stared at us with a gloomy face.

“Is there a problem Hanna?” Anya asked.

The little elf’s face turned red as she sputtered, “Well, I . . .”

“Hanna, come on. Tell us what’s going on.”

“Okay. You know that magic show that’s happening Saturday?”

“Yes, Santa and I are looking forward to it!”

“I’m hoping to learn some new tricks!” I added.

“I’m supposed to be in the show, but you won’t learn them from me.” The elf paused for a long time.

“Hanna,” my wife said in an understanding voice.

The elf sighed and dropped her head. “I’m not very good at magic tricks.” Hanna hesitated again and gazed at us.  “Since your smallest doll represents magic, I was wondering if I could borrow it to help me perform my magic tricks for the show. I promise to return it.”

My wife and I looked at one another.

“Hanna,” Anya began. “Each of the nesting dolls symbolizes something about Santa. None of them have the power to make the qualities they represent come alive.”

“The doll itself doesn’t possess any magic. It’s what it represents to me in my heart,” I explained tapping my chest, “and in my mind,” and tapped my head.

“I feel so foolish,” the elf mumbled.

“No need to feel that way, Hanna,” my wife said and patted a spot on the sofa.

Hanna smiled and sat between us.

“As far as your magic show, all you need is confidence.” I put my arm around her and added, “You have plenty when you work in the kitchen. You never hesitate to create any dish Blanch asks you to make. Use that same confidence to perform your magic tricks this Saturday.”

“I think I have something that might help you,” Ms. Claus said as she reached into her pocket. When she opened her hand there was a red Garnet stone in her palm. “Here, I want you to have this.”

Hanna gently took the stone from my wife’s hand. “Thank you, but I don’t understand.”

“This stone is meant to promote peace and balance to the woman who has it, and to remove any self-doubt she may have. So, when you go to perform your magic, I want you to remember the stone in your pocket so that you will have no doubt about your abilities.”

Hanna shook her head. “I appreciate that, but it belongs to you.”

“Don’t worry, I have several and keep them in various places. So, whenever I’m lacking confidence, I reach for the stone in my desk drawer, night stand, pocket, wherever I have one stored. It reminds me that I can do anything when I put my mind to it.”

Hanna took the stone and slipped it into her pocket, and stood to leave.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“I have some magic I need to practice and perfect for Saturday.” She smiled and slipped out the door.

“Well Santa, I think we’re going to see a confident Hanna performing on Saturday!”

“Hanna just needs to believe she is capable and can instead of can’t. The Garnet stone you gave her is just the thing to get her to believe in herself.”

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Stories are posted on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, except December. Santa’s next story will be posted on Saturday July 6, 2024.  If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until the next time . . .

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2 Replies to “Confidence”

  1. You’re right, Santa – We did Love this story! I gave our “patient” a special guitar pick to put in his pocket, to remind him, healing will be “one step at a time” – we just need to find the middle ground of too much and too little!! Thanks, Santa – another Great story! Now we just have to wish that the truck can be fixed (smile)!!

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