I hope this letter makes it to you in time. I know Christmas Eve is right around the corner and you must be overwhelmingly busy.
Have you heard about the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut? Of course you have. I'm sure the name of each and every lost child was on the Nice List. Oh Santa, my heart is broken over this tragedy. I don't know anyone from Sandy Hook but yet their great loss remains heavy on my soul. I can almost literally feel the weight of it sitting on my heart and ever since hearing their news I have felt compelled to write you.
Maybe you'll think it strange to get a letter from a grownup. But as you know we are believers here. I've always encouraged my children to write you but the truth is it has been a long time since I've penned you myself. I'm sorry. I guess being an adult doesn't always leave time to nurture the wonder and innocence of childhood. That's a shame isn't it? Regardless, in the off chance you'll get this in time I was hoping you wouldn't mind if I sent you my Christmas list.
Santa, we all need joy this year. And not the kind that you feel when you unwrap that awesome new present. I mean, we like your presents (my twins are certainly counting on you for a toy or two as you know from their letters) it's just that most of us don't really need one more gadget, app or sweater. No, the kind of joy I would like for you to bring is the kind of joy that isn't based on what we get or have or own. I think we need a joy that runs deep like a well; the kind that refreshes the body from the inside out, a joy that brings smiles to hardened faces and relief to weary souls. I'm just sure that kind of joy could be a starting point for so many downtrodden folks.
You see, we're afraid. A lot. And it's not good. We are afraid to go to the movies or the mall and we're hesitant to drop our children off at school. Sometimes I feel scared too which really makes me mad because while I want my children to be safe and healthy I also want them to be free to run and play. It's tempting to call my kids home, lock the door and bar us all inside because at least here, with me, I'd feel a little less afraid. But that's not okay is it? Instead of spending our days constantly looking over our shoulders and jumping at every loud sound we need comfort. It's just dreadful that our hearts start beating out of our chests at the mere thought of something bad happening to us or our loved ones. I'm afraid that fear is sucking the life right out of us. We're not meant to live like this. Life is meant to be lived in abundance. So jolly old elf, if you have a package of peace could you leave it under our trees? It would make a world of difference to our chronic high blood pressure, bleary eyes and sleepless nights.
Finally, although I'm a little bit embarrassed to mention it, I wonder if I could ask you for a stocking full of tolerance. Because joy doesn't always come easy and because we're worried we're not safe, most of us have forgotten how important our dealings with other human beings are. We snap too quickly at our coworkers and cut in line at the grocery store. We start turf wars with our neighbors, have road rage and yell at our kid's coaches. If we could just feel more tolerant then it would be easier to be patient, forgiving and merciful to our fellow mankind. Can you imagine how much kinder the world would be if instead of scorning everyone else we offered small, genuine acts of kindness?
I know the world isn't going to be fixed anytime soon. Times are very difficult; people are struggling with the heavy weight of stress. Some days I wonder if we're too far gone to make things right again. But I have faith old man. I have faith in Christmas. I have faith in the goodness of man and I have faith in love. As you are out delivering packages I hope nestled between that rocking horse and skateboard you'll find what I long for in that magic bag of yours. It's a grown up wish I know. But if you have any joy, peace or tolerance to share with us I hope you'll be generous.
Thank you, Santa.
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