In his delightful book where he reflects on Santa Claus and being Santa Claus, Tom Plummer has wonderful letters to the Jolly Old Elf from various people. In this vein I share with you my letter to Santa Claus.
Dear Santa Claus,
Greetings from New York. My Christmas list this year in some ways is very short. Really, all things considered, there is not a lot that I absolutely need and those things I want are either a little frivolous, for this Christmas anyway, or sort of beyond the realm of possibility. I'm just thankful for the season, Santa.
This year we've tried to emphasize the true meaning of Christmas with our little girls (baby boy being too young to have any idea). And we've talked about why we give gifts, and thus why we get gifts. When your three year-old gets a little stary-eyed in the toy department thinking of all the toys she'd like to have, or when your five year-old has a fit because she wants to buy a plastic phone for her sister, but insists that this sister get the same exact phone for her, you get some good opportunites for explaining.
I've tried to teach my children that like those faithful Wise Men from so long ago who travelled to bestow wonderful things on the Christ child, we give gifts to one another. But more importantly I talk about the gift that He who was once a small babe in manger has given us. And as I have thought about what you, Santa Claus, mean -you have plenty of detractors and supporters, of course- the scripture in John came to mind "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." I think that in some small way, and of course you will be uncomfortable with this, you represent our Father in Heaven.
There are no conditions in that verse as to who can receive the gift of the Savior. We like to think that Santa visits every house, regardless of geography and economic circumstance; that is part of your magic. And though as a grown-up I know that you can't visit every home and give every child a gift, I know that my Heavenly Father, whose spirit you spread over this Christmas season, can and does give everyone the best gift of all through his Son, Jesus Christ, if we will do our own small part.
We have some big changes on the horizon, Santa. You may be aware of them. They really are life changing events, and in a lot of ways, quite intimidating. But because I know that we do have a loving Father watching over us, I know that those things I can't put on my list to Santa Claus, can go on my list for my Heavenly Father. Quite frankly, there are some miracles that I am asking for. But whatever else he decides, he did already send his Son to earth, to be born in the most humble of circumstances. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and that son is the Son of God.
The weather is fairly warm, although a little wet this year, so you should have no serious problems getting here. I hope your journey is pleasant and that you get to as many houses as you possibly can. But where ever you visit, and whatever you can do, we both know that God is over all, and in the end everything will be good and right. Merry Christmas!