We went passed the halfway mark of November and Christmas decorations have already dressed some of the buildings in Manhattan’s Eastside. Kids are preparing their Christmas lists while parents ready their boxes of holiday lights, tree decorations, and red stockings with white fluffy tops, and names written on them in script with glue and multicolored sparkles.
Soon every television commercial will tell us about holiday sales. Flyers will come in the mail and the race to the stores will become unbearable and painfully busy.
A friend of mine works in the post office. He tells me about the huge piles of envelopes that come for Santa.
“We get letters for Santa all the time,” he said.
“They come every day. Bags of them,” he explained.
“It’s unbelievable how many letters we get for him.”
I wonder where the letters go. I wonder what the handwriting on the envelopes look like. Perhaps some are written in crayon—or maybe they are scribbled with pencils, or maybe they are written in ink.
I wonder if anyone reads the letters, and if they do, I wonder if they are touched by the outpouring message from a young child who wants nothing more than a new toy, or a bicycle.
I wonder if anyone reads them, or if the letters simply disappear and go wherever it is the lost or undelivered mail goes.
Maybe someone in the post office holds them. Maybe they read the letters whenever they need to remember what it means to feel like a kid. Maybe someone keeps the letters to remind themselves of their earlier innocence.
I have been considering the idea of writing a letter to Santa. And whether the letter goes somewhere or falls in the slot, and finds itself wherever lost or undelivered mail finds itself; then so be it.
I have things to ask for this year . . .
So here it goes
I know I have never written to you before, and I know I am too old and too heavy to sit in your lap, but I am sending you this letter with hope that you could see your way to my side of the globe and help me with a few things. I’m not sure if I want an actual gift; least of all the gifts that fit underneath the tree or the ones most dads get—like a leaf-blower or a table saw. I’m not asking for money or wealth, but I’m certainly open if that’s an option. This may not be in your department—but I have never asked you for anything before, so I’m how much you can do.
The first gift is not for me or for anyone in my family. The first gift is for a little boy named Jake. Jake passed away a few months back, but if there is any way you could schedule a visit for him this Christmas, I truly think this would help his mom and dad.
I’d like you to send a message to my friend Brian. I’d like you to tell him I’m sorry I never met him for coffee. Tell him I’m sorry I never returned his phone call. I guess I figured tomorrow would always be there. But this was not the case and I missed my chance to sit down with an old friend before he passed away.
I’m not sure if you can do anything with spines—but my mother needs a new one. This Christmas, I’d like a new spine for my mom.
Or if not, I’d like her pain to go away.
There are a few gifts I would like for my wife, but if you don’t mind, I’d like to keep those ideas to myself.
I would like to build a dollhouse for my daughter.
This I can handle . . . I just need you to help me find more time with her.
I want a nice Christmas tree.
I want my house dressed in lights and I want it to smell like pine needles. I want to sit next to the twinkling tree after nightfall with a hot cup of pumpkin spice and watch, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
I want to be reminded of that thing we call purity and I want to feel the warmth of those I love most.
I know most of your letters are written by kids that say they’ve been good all year. I can’t say that—at least, not honestly.
But the people on my list can . . .
And if this is not too much, I would like to add a healthy daddy for a little girl.
She’s only eight years-old and she misses him terribly.
This is only the start of my list, so I hope you can help me.
But I have your address now, and I can always reach out again
. . . if that’s okay with you
For those who care to write to Santa:
101 St. Nicholas Drive
North Pole, AK 99705