Believe, Give, Trust — The Three Rules of Everyday Magic

Believe. Give. Trust. These are the three rules of Everyday Magic.

Those words came to me on a long car trip a little over two years ago as I was working on a rewrite of what would eventually become my debut novel. As soon as the words were on the page, I knew they were truer than true and spoke to the very heart of the message of my story.

A lot has happened since that road trip. But recently, I’ve been reflecting on those three rules even more.

Indeed, believe, give, trust are the words of the holiday season. The only sequence of actions that can truly lead to hope. To the Solstice’s return of light (figuratively). To Christmas’ peace on earth and good will toward men. To Hanukkah’s miracles.


Believe. It’s such a prominent word during this holiday season. Believe in Santa Claus. Believe in God born as a child. Believe in the miracle of a single cruse of oil lasting for eight days. Believe in goodness. Believe, even during the longest night of the year, that the light will return once more.


Give. The most recognizable action of December. Give gifts. Give time. Give love. Give light. Give songs and smiles and hugs and cookies. Give charitably. Generously.


Trust. This is the hardest part of the whole process. It’s the hardest part for Kate in my book, The Three Rules of Everyday Magic. It’s the hardest part for me. It’s probably the hardest part for all of us. Because after we believe that good things are possible, that magic can happen, that miracles abound, and after we give and give and give some more — in essence, after we work to put good into the world — we have to wait and hope. We have to trust that, in the words of Anne Frank, “it will all come right.” We have to trust that the little bit of light we tried to kindle actually did its job and brightened someone’s day. We have to trust that many people putting light into the world can create something brilliant and beautiful.

This holiday season, I have to trust that there are more beginnings even after sad endings. That family bonds can heal broken hearts. This year, I am holding on to Believe, Give, Trust more than ever.

The holidays are always described as a magical time of year. But perhaps the magic doesn’t lie in the sparkle and colored lights. Not the gifts, the candles, the crackling fire, or Santa and his reindeer. Maybe the real magic is that all of us are trying to truly live these three rules.

And with every hat or scarf knitted, every present wrapped, every batch of cookies left on a doorstep, every dollar to charity, or secret act of service, I hope we can all remember the words of Kate’s grandmother.

“Anytime love becomes visible, there’s magic.”

author photo 2018

Amanda Rawson Hill grew up in Wyoming with a library right out her back gate. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned her BA in Chemistry. She now resides in central California with her husband, three children, a bulldog named after Moaning Myrtle, and a cat (Luna Lovegood) who is still mad about the acquisition of the dog. Her debut novel, THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC, releases from Boyds Mills Press in the fall of 2018.

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