When I describe what a “Santa Letter” is to people — a return letter from Santa to the beloved child or children in their lives — the trickster inside me is scheming a way to surprise the children with facts Santa knows about them. I imagine the looks of surprise on their faces when they read that Santa knows about their teacher or the games they play with their brother. I love to include those kinds of details. I ask what sorts of accomplishments and growth the children had that year so Santa can commend them on it. And sometimes parents ask me to have Santa remind the recipients to behave in one way or another.
Emails I receive from parents were extensive. In most cases, they surprised themselves with how much more they wrote than they thought. They apologize for the amount of content and hope I can use what they’ve written. It’s exciting to me to read these emails. I sit down to draft the letters before I pen them and who I am writing as and who I am writing to occurs to me. I am writing on behalf of a proud parent or relative, recognizing their accomplishments. I am writing as a parent in support of the same parents. I am writing as an adult who believes that each one of us is important and has gifts to share with the world.
I am writing to parents and children at the same time. I think we each need a reminder to be good and honest and to give ourselves a break and to keep trying even though it’s hard. And so with that, I’d like to say thank you to each person who let me write to their children. Thank you for taking the time to reflect on how proud you are of them and for continuing to encourage them. Thank you for trying to make magical moments in their lives. Magic isn’t about making something treasured out of nothing. Magic is about pooling all your resources — your love, time, spirit, and energy — into reminding someone that they are important just because they are them. You don’t need a special occasion to do that. So again, thank you for the opportunity to be a part of that experience for you and for your child. Until next year!