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“A Gruffalo… what’s a Gruffalo?

A Gruffalo… why, didn’t you know?

There’s no such thing as a Gruffalo!”

Those are lines from Indiana’s favorite book and video called “The Gruffalo”.

In the story, a mouse goes for a stroll through the deep dark wood to find a nut, and he comes upon some difficult obstacles that stand in his way.  In order to keep going, the mouse ‘makes up’ something called a Gruffalo.

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The mouse knows it’s not true.  But everyone else believes his story.

The best part of the book is that in the end, the very thing that he imagined in his head, turns out to be real.  And the mouse found a way to be brave through something that should have been very scary.

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That’s a little like our holidays here year.

In early November, Christmas seemed still so far away.  And the prognosis was clear that there was a good chance Joey wasn’t going to be with us then and that this Christmas was going to be a difficult one to get through.

So like the mouse in Indy’s story, we all began to ‘make up’ our own Gruffalo.  Ours was the belief that it was going to be a wonderful, magical Christmas.  We didn’t really believe it – down deep inside we knew we knew better – but still we told ourselves and each other that it was going to be great.

And we trudged on through the deep dark wood.

And when we got to the other side, it turned out that our Gruffalo was real too.  Christmas had come and Joey was not only here with us, but she was doing well and we all had an amazing day together.

There was a beautiful Christmas tree filled with wonder…

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Christmas cookies that we made together…

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New pajamas that we opened and put on the night before (it’s our yearly tradition)…

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Lots of presents to open on Christmas morning…

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And a big Christmas dinner in the evening and fun with all of Joey’s family…

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It truly was an incredible Christmas!

Sometimes believing is seeing.

And so as the New Year approaches, we will continue to believe and trust that what is waiting on the other side of the deep, dark wood is something even better and more beautiful than our minds can even imagine.

And yes, our little Indiana had a wonderful Christmas this year.  I think her favorite gift was getting her very own Gruffalo.  Her expressions were priceless.

Like us, she almost couldn’t believe that her “Gruffalo” was really here.  Really real.

But it was.  It really was.

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