With Christmas just five days away, the holiday season traditionally evokes happy memories in the minds of children of all ages. However, today’s modern family includes a large variety of family forms resulting from separation, divorce or other problems. Joy is often replaced by anxiety, worry and even fear in the minds of the very young. Gone is the security of knowing when they will see one parent over another, have access to their toys and presents they have always had “at home,” now divided between two separate addresses. In the mind of a small child, the break-up of the family unit means holidays will never be the same. After all, to someone age three to eight years old, how will Santa Claus know where to visit now that every holiday means living at two different homes or more? Thankfully, Carolyn J. Woodruff, a family law specialist and her husband, Dwight A. Ensley, offer the perfect solution in their children’s story, The Seven Nights of Santa.
“As a family law specialist for more than 20 years, I have come to see a growing number of families struggle through divorce. While I can use the law to protect my client’s rights, I have been unable to help the injured hearts of children who don’t understand why holiday traditions have to change. After a considerable amount of discussion and brainstorming, Dwight and I both realized it was Captain Green Eyes that would be able to save this special time of year,” says Woodruff.
Captain Green Eyes is a fictional character created from a stuffed cat that was given to Ensley when he was born. As the fictional character in The Seven Nights of Santa, Captain Green Eyes works with Santa Claus to offer seven nights for Santa to visit children across the world. All a child must do is let Santa know what night to come to which home. This means moms, dads, grandparents and caregivers in their
various homes can share the magic and wonder of the season with the same child on their own Santa morning. No court, parent, or child has to choose one parent or relative over another ever again. No parent or caregiver has to ever miss out on the surprise and delight on the faces of their little ones during the holidays.
Through the story, The Seven Nights of Santa, children meet the members of the Cupcake Buddies, who, just like them come from varied backgrounds, helping to remind all children that families come in all shapes and sizes. Besides their leader, Captain Green Eyes, who pilots a bi-plane, there is Ms. Skyheart, who is a pilot as well. Then, there is Sherbie. He is six years old and his mother and father are divorced. Sherbie lives part of the week with his father and the other part with his mother. Next, there is Pinkie, who is eight years old, loves pink and lives with her mother most of the time while she visits her father a few times a year. Finally, there is Hot Dog who is four years old. He lives with his grandparents and loves that his room is big enough for all of his toys. Throughout The Seven Nights of Santa, children will learn that no matter who is a part of their family, if there is love in the home their family is indeed a real family.
“What children see on television and in the movies is often what these youngsters are programmed to think is ‘normal’ for all families. However, not all homes have a mother and a father raising the children. Just because someone is a single parent or there is a mother who lives in one home while the father lives in another home, children should not feel like they are missing out on love and joy and happiness as the big or small screen seems to insinuate. While we may not be able to turn back the hands of time to when the biological parents were together, we can focus on helping small children see the beauty in the family they have today and for all the years to come,” says Ensley.