This time of year often brings to mind the story of The Magic Leaf.
When I was...5 or 6 years old we were living in Cambridge, MA and my parents and I loved to hike at Walden Pond. I fondly remember the little brown hiking boots I wore for those adventures. One time when we went in the autumn I found a leaf that was so vividly colorful and just..perfect, somehow. I fell in love with this perfect leaf and showed my parents and brought it home with me. At this time in our lives, my mom and dad and I lived in the Transcendental Meditation Center. It was in a very large old house and the entire third floor was ours, while the rest of the house was lecture halls and meeting rooms, etc, all dedicated to the teaching of TM. I mention this because it was a period of time in which there were constantly people around, lots of friends and other TM teachers and guests. So on this day when I brought the special leaf home our friend Dennis was there and when I showed him the leaf he said "Do you know that's a magic leaf?", which I was of course astonished and delighted to hear. He went on to say "If you make a wish on that leaf, that wish will come true." Not believing my luck, I held out the leaf and closed my eyes and wished (aloud) with all my heart "I wish for a Barbie Dreamhouse." And then I set the leaf down and left it there, as I was instructed.
I think it was just a few short hours later when i returned to the spot where I had left the leaf, and lo and behold...the magic had come true. There was the toy of my dreams (and Barbie's) a Barbie Dreamhouse.