It's always fun to read children's letters to Santa Claus at this time of year, because the younger the child, the stronger the belief in the jolly elf. And, there are also some letters that may cause parents to blush. But sadly, there are also some letters that can raise a lump in the throat and bring a tear to the eye.
You can tell from the letter which children basically sat in front of the TV one entire day with tablet in front of them, and listed every toy they saw in the commercials on their wish list. (Mom, I need more crayons!) Now, if the child is little older and subscribes to that theory, they sit down at the family computer to compose their letter. Those are the letters that fill three or four pages, single-spaced. (Mom, the printer needs another ink cartridge!)
Some kids are very ingenious when they prepare their lists for Santa. Some will find pictures of the gift they want, usually taken from catalog pages or advertising inserts and flyers, and fasten them to their letter to Santa, just to make sure that the order department at Santa, Inc. North Pole Division, doesn't mess up.
As we all know, some children wish for practical things at Christmas. "Dear Santa: Please bring me a pony. We live in the third floor apartment, so you'll have to use the elevator to bring the pony. Thanks, Buffy."
(Memo to order department - OK boys, we need a little better guidance on the pony were we thinking something in the "My Little Pony" category or were we looking at one of the Budweiser Clydesdales? a little more specific in size on order forms for next year. Signed, S. Claus)
Who hasn't seen the Christmas letter like this?
"Dear Santa: How are you? I am fine. Mommy and Daddy are good, except for Daddy still limps after he tripped coming down the stairs on my Springy after Christmas last year and fell down the stairs and landed in the aquarium. After we picked up the fish, I laughed, Mommy laughed and the ambulance people laughed so hard they dropped Daddy's stretcher when they heard the story how he fell down. I have been a good boy otherwise, so can you please bring me a new Springy? Love, Teddy. (P.S. My old Springy disappeared after Daddy got home from the hospital. I've looked all over for it but can't find it.)
OK, then...How about a letter from the parents?
"Dear Santa: Please, please, please bring something for the kids this year that 1) doesn't require assembly, 2) doesn't require batteries, 3) doesn't make noise and 4) can be enjoyed by all of them at once without yelling, property damage or bloodshed. Thanks, Mom and Dad."
All levity aside, there have been letters to Santa that make one stop and count their own blessings I recall reading one in another publication along these lines.
"Dear Santa, My little sister and I have tried to be real good this year, even after Mama got sick and left us. Our aunt and uncle are good to us but they don't have a lot this year, so could you give them something from us, too? We don't need much, maybe a toy or something, because we have each other, and that's what Mama told us was more important than toys. We will leave you a cookie. Love, Billy and Susie."
A letter like that has to make you stop and take a little stock of your own situation because no matter how bad you think you have it, there is always someone somewhere who is in a little more dire straits.
We tend to get caught up in the excitement, the colors, the sensory overload that can come at Christmas, and it becomes too easy to forget what and why we celebrate the holiday.
To conclude, I'd ask your indulgence in this letter to Santa:
"Dear Santa: We've tried to be good all year long, helping each other in our area, looking out for our friends and neighbors, working to keep our communities vital and active. Our young people have given us much enjoyment and reason to be proud over the past year, and we do our best to keep this area that we call home, safe for them. We know there are a lot of people who need things at Christmas, and if we could, we would ask for this simple gift to give one and all the understanding that we are all one family and one community in the grand scheme of things and that we should all be able to live in harmony and understanding. If you can help us find that gift, we will be eternally grateful."
P.S. We'll leave out some skim milk and vegetables for you to nibble on have to watch those calories, now
Merry Christmas to all!