We go way back, my friend, and for that I’m grateful. You were always there for me as a child, and I’ve enjoyed how our relationship has evolved. Thank you for sharing your magic. Being your deputy elf has brought me great delight. I thought about writing this letter a few weeks ago, and had intended for it to be a farewell. See, my sweet girl is now a tween, and her belief in you is waning. She announced that it was gone, and I thought that you and I were naturally growing apart. Christmas seems different with a tween who doesn’t want her picture taken with one of your look alike helpers in the stores, and without me getting to plan an intense 007 mission to procure and deliver the exact right gift.
Then the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary happened. In the midst of the grief, I felt a need for you now more than ever, and I realized that I didn’t have to say goodbye. In fact, I am refusing to say goodbye. I’m writing to say that I will be happy to do your work as long as I can. I want to be in the business of bringing magic, spreading joy and
encouraging requiring that people be nice to one another.
I was surprised when, the night of the shooting, my tween mentioned she didn’t get your video this year. (I’ve helped you send one to her via the Portable North Pole for the past several years.) I told her that since she didn’t believe, there seemed to be no need, but she just shrugged. So your video arrived today. My tween watched. I watched her watch. I don’t know what she believed, but she did not dispute your existence. She had a twinkle in her eye, much like the one often ascribed to you, and to me, that means that she believes enough. And enough is all I need.
It’s entirely possible that she was playing along because she knew I was sad and needed cheering up. She’s good at sensing such feelings and helping others exactly as they need. It’s one of the many reasons she’s on your nice list. She knows that few things cheer me up like Santa-related discussions 10 days before Christmas. But maybe not. And maybe this was her way of being Santa to me, bringing an unexpected happy surprise to me a bit early. Further proof that you exist.
My parents never told me that you weren’t real. Maybe they know something I don’t. (Certainly wouldn’t be the first time.) Maybe they knew that there is wonder and magic that results from being good to and helping others and in believing in what you cannot see. There are a lot of different ways to describe that, and one of those is "Santa." Maybe they knew that you bring hope, and we all need a lot of that in our stockings this year.
P.S. – Please give Mrs. Claus my best and tell the reindeer we’ll have the carrots out again this year. Your standing order of chocolate chip and cookies from the cookie press (camel shaped, of course) will be on the hearth.