Christmas may be behind us, but there is something I want to reflect on that may make you think. Some of you may have heard the story about how my granddaughter thought I was one of Santa’s Elves for many of her younger years. Her mother had told her the story because she, like me, enjoyed the magic of Christmas when she was a little girl and wanted to carry on the tradition.
This is a very controversial topic around the holidays as there are some people who believe we shouldn’t let our kids think anything that isn’t true and that it will essentially scar them for life. If that were the case, then how could Disney World have been built and why does almost every child want to go there at least once in their life? And why are our kids told fairytales and bedtime stories spinning tales of the most elaborate and enchanted kind? And even on an adult level, why do we watch supernatural and mystical characters in films that we know could never exist in real life (but for a moment, suspend our disbelief). Why do we do all of this? Because what we are truly talking about here can be summed up in one word: imagination.
Speaking of Walt Disney above, “Saving Mr. Banks” was just released over the holidays and tells the story of how it took Disney 20 years to follow through on a promise to daughters and make a film adaptation of “Mary Poppins.” The author spent two short weeks in Los Angeles where Disney pulled out all of the stops with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the Sherman brothers. He had to use imagination to finally convince her and capture her fancy, and I believe in a lot of ways that is what we do with stories of Santa Claus we tell to our children.
My granddaughter is now going on 11 years old. She’s a straight “A” student and a brilliant writer. She has been able to connect to the creativity behind those incredible stories, foster that inventiveness and make it her own. After all, how could she be such a great writer without using imagination as her starting point? And guess what? She knows now I was never an elf, but we all smile about it every year when we relive our past Christmas traditions.
I completely respect those who choose to not buy into these types of holiday traditions and in no way want anyone reading this to think I’m preaching one way over the other. I’ll admit, I felt sad the day I discovered there really was no Santa Claus. However, it helped me to transition into that next phase of my life (a rites of passage, if you will), and I went on to help my parents wrap gifts for my siblings from Santa. I still get a tingle when I see a kid in Santa’s lap at the mall – to me he is nothing more than the embodiment of the spirit of Christmas. Learning about Santa never affected me in any negative way – in fact, like in my granddaughter’s case, it did quite the opposite. Without my very vivid imagination and ability to believe in the impossible, I can say with 100% confidence that there would be no Pure Romance today.
In fact, I can always find the distinct connection between our top-selling Pure Romance Consultants and their level of imagination. They have taken the Pure Romance vision and successfully helped others open their hearts and mind to what we are all about. They use imagination in their demos and help people feel comfortable by the way they tell stories about their products and people’s lives they’ve touched. And anyone who has seen long-time Consultant and National Director, Leslie Zay, do a spritely cartwheel across the stage at world conference knows that she like many keeps her dreams alive, no matter what her age today. The future truly belongs to those who continue to dream and believing in a fantasy world as a child is certainly a good precursor to that. Regardless of your point of view on this particular topic, please never forget to imagine all the days of your life– it is the cornerstone of creativity and I truly believe your success depends on it! Here’s to keeping your inner child alive and dreaming, every day to come!