I know, I know. It has been quite a while since I have written to you but I have been quite busy lately. I understand that you are not used to receiving letters from those of us who are over legal voting/drinking age but since I didn’t really have any kind of relationship with you until I was seventeen years old then I kind of figured that I had some unused years of eligibility left. Also, I presumed that since you are a magical elf that can manipulate the relationship of time and space that you could bend the rules for me and accept this letter. I was just going to deliver this in person to one of your duly appointed representatives at the mall but apparently they haven’t lifted that restraining order yet. However in my defense, I had just figured that if a five year old is going to run his mouth like that then he really out to be able to take a punch. I am just glad that the Taser marks have finally healed.
Well if you made it this far in the letter then I guess I should really get to the point. I would love to tell you how good I have been this year but I recall something about “he sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake” so I won’t waste your time with lies and deception. The truth is that although I have tried to be good, I have been fairly naughty this year. I have acted selfishly. I have gotten angry at the people I love. On occasions, I have drank too much and listened too little. I have not been patient with the faults of others nor those of myself. Most of all, I just haven’t made the positive difference in the world that I believe it is every human being’s obligation to make. There have been moments when I have been good but these just haven’t occurred frequently enough this year. Due to the fact that I find myself on the provisionally naughty list this year, I will not ask for the tangible gifts that I normally would request. I won’t ask for videogames. I won’t ask for some new great kitchen tool that would make me feel like a real cook. I won’t ask for the new Hess truck to add to my collection or a new Star Wars t-shirt, although I don’t think you can ever have too many. Even if I did ask for some physical gift I doubt you could find our house in order to deliver it. The tree is not yet up and the lights are not strung along the roofline. There is no inflatable snowman in the front yard and there is no lighted replica of you on the front porch. I would like to blame our tardiness in decoration on my recent illness or the financial struggles that our family, and many other families too, are experiencing.
But I must be honest, there is something more than that and that is why I need your help. So Santa, the only thing I need from you is ………………….Christmas. No, I don’t mean the actual date of December 25. The passage of time means that day will come and go as it always has. I also don’t mean the version of Christmas that is marketed and packaged as nothing more than an excuse for out-of-control consumerism so that what was once a holy day of celebration is nothing more than an excuse to buy more useless junk. No, the Christmas I am referring to is about something that that can’t be wrapped in a box nor stuffed in an envelope. In the words of Dr. Seuss, it is about “a little bit more”. This is the Christmas I need you to bring.
I want the Christmas that feels like a warm blanket at the end of a cold day.
I want the Christmas that I had the first year I was married as we sat in front of our scrawny tree and shared gifts that were the first ones we had ever had together.
I want the Christmas when my daughter was one and the time when she was mesmerized by the lights and ornaments on the tree not the presents beneath it.
I want the Christmas when my son got his first baseball. It was simple and he had no idea how much joy watching him play has given me.
I want the Christmas of family. I want the day where we get together and instead of convincing our selves why we are better than these other individuals, we share the love that keeps us together.
I want the Christmas of peace and reconciliation. I have seen to many families fall apart this year and I wish them the kindness of heart to put their differences aside and find a way to be kind and respectful to each other.
I want a Christmas of action. Please bring me a time when we can stop feeling bad about those suffering around us and start doing the things that are needed to make their lives better.
I want a Christmas of priorities. Each day we lose a little of the relationships we have with friends and families because we let the distractions of life steal the attention we should pay to the ones who matter to us.
I want the Christmas of love. I want Jews and Muslims, Christians and Hindus, Devout religious fanatics and skeptical atheists to treat each other like the god they believe in, or don’t, wants them to.
Finally, I want a Merry Christmas. Not an empty platitude to mumble as you go about your day, but rather a true feeling of happiness that is based on the lives we have and not the things we own.
So dear Santa, please bring me the Christmas I need….because I know I am not the only one.