My Dearest Santa,
I have written to you many times before. This time it’s a little different.
This year, my letter will not begin with ‘can I have’ or ‘I want.’ I won’t make a list of all the naughty and all the nice things I have done throughout the year—I know you would never judge.
And I won’t ask you to perform miracles that I know are out of your hands.
Santa, you are magical, you make dreams come true, but also, the illusion of what people think you are capable of shatters millions of dreams, turns happy smiles to tears and it breaks little hearts.
I understand that this is not your fault and I know this also breaks your heart too.
I have seen copies of many letters you have received.
Can you bring Daddy back?
I want a pony.
The new games console please.
The latest toy (that’s sold out in every store).
When you read these letters I can imagine the pain that jolts through you. I know you will be thinking about the parents who will wake up on Christmas morning and have to witness the sadness and disappointment in their child’s eyes when those wishes have not come true.
Oh Santa, can we just go back. A very long way back…
To the time when demands and expectations were not so impossibly high. To the time when the joy of Christmas was in going to sleep at night, too excited to sleep and listening for your sleigh bells passing by the chimney at midnight.
Because milk and a cookie had been left on the fireplace, in case you stopped by.
(I always knew you had, because your reindeer were very hungry and would leave only crumbs behind.)
You even would write a little note back to thank me for the treats and to say you were busy so must fly.
I would leave you a stocking on the chimney place, which, would be covered in soot the following morning. You would fill it with fruit and small trinkets, which truly was enough to fill my heart.
I did not need sacks of toys and games as my play was to be found in my imagination. I would make perfume from petals and collect blackberries from the forest and play make-believe with all of my friends.
I did not need sacks of toys that no doubt would have been tucked in a cupboard or placed under the bed when the unwrapping was over and the magic of the moment had passed.
I did not need my parents to worry about whether my list had matched what you had been able to give. I know there are millions of children in the world you must visit and some who have nothing at all.
I was grateful to have my family, my brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and grandparents around me to celebrate Christmas day. We would sit and play word games and card games, sing carols and talk and laugh and eat together—a meal that had been cooked and prepared by all.
We would delivery hand made Christmas cards to our neighbours and friends and often, we would get a chocolate from their tree in return.
We would go for a (sometimes snowy) walk and climb trees and ride bikes and leave our parents behind to chatter while we explored and adventured and had fun. We would fall asleep in a den that we had made with duvets and pillows and we would pretend we were camping in the wilderness alone.
I slept with a happy and full heart and belly and I already had all the magic I needed.
So for this year Santa, please don’t worry about the lists and don’t feel the pain. Write back to all the girls and boys and remind them gently of all that they already have. And that magic is not found in toys and games and plastic and technology.
It is already there, in their families, their hearts and in their minds. They just need a little nudge to explore it.
Thank you for reading this, Santa. I love you and I thank you for always.
“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things—not the great occasions—give off the greatest glow of happiness.” ~ Bob Hope
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Author: Alex Sandra Myles
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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