On the heels of a national tragedy of unprecedented magnitude, in the midst of a war and suffering the strain of economic recession, it is difficult this year to muster up the holiday spirit.
Usually, around this time of year, people are smiling and greeting strangers, stamping Christmas cards and wrapping gifts.
This year the smiles are a little thin, the happy greetings skipped and fewer cards and gifts are being prepared.
So it was with even greater anticipation, this year that I looked forward to the annual deluge of Santa letters.
Each year the Miner prints letters to Santa written by area children.
Last year I wrote about how the letters were unusually sad with many children just wanting their families to be happy and together.
But this year the kids came through and their innocent requests and claims of perpetual goodness again put a smile on my face.
This Sunday a special section inserted into the Miner will feature many of the hundreds of Santa letters we have received.
The overflow will go into Christmas Eve and Christmas Day papers.
But sensing a need in many for a spontaneous smile this year, I'm going to share a couple of highlights:
Dear Santa Claus,
How are things at the North Pole? I can't wait for you to give my family and me presents.
Have you fed your reindeer the carrots I left out for them?
I want to tell you something Santa.
Don't forget the good people and kids in Afgahanistan.
I bet they are having a rough time there with all of the wars going on.
But do something special for the New Yorkers.
I bet they are having a rough time to because their family members aren't there right now.
But they are in their hearts.
I bet the only thing they would want was their family members back with them.
If there can be a miracle to bring them back to life that sure would make my life brighter again.
I want to thank you for all of the hard work you did for people and kids.
To bring them presents and other special things.
Have a Merry Christmas Santa.
I want something to remind me of New York.
Dear Santa Claus,
Did you ever go in the house by the front door? What if you can not get in by the chimney and the door is locked and the windows are locked too how are you going to get in? Do you realy have magical powers? How do you give everyone a present in one night? Does everyone leave cockies and milk by the chimney? Do you realy have a red nosed raindeer that is named Rudolf in the North Pole? Is your sleigh realy packed up with presents? Do you help the elves make presents? Is it hard to be Santa? Why do you have people come and pretend to be you? Sometimes is the chimney to small? Do you get tired sending the presants? Do some kids give you presants? What kind of cockies do you get? Are the cookies good? What kind of presant will you give out? Do you give the good kids good presents and the bad kids bad presents? Where were you born? Is Misses Claus a good wife? Is she a good house cleaner? Where does the raindeers live? Do the raindeer live in a barn? Do you realy go around the whole wourld? How do you make magick? Is it easy to use magick? Do all children write you a letter? How do you fly your sled? Do the raindeers fly with you? If the children see you what happens? Sometime do you decorate your tree? How do you get presents? Does your wife give you your presants and the elves? Does children give you presants? Did you make the songs up about Christmas? Do you just give the U.S.A.
then a different state presants or do you give all the states and consenets at the same time? Do you like children? Do you throw presents in the air then you make them go in the chimney with your magical powers? Can you make everyone go to sleep? What colors is the raindeers? Do you like presants? How much rapping papper do you have? Do you collect rapping papper all year? Have I been good because I want a good present?
I have bean fighting a little with my brothers and sisters.
Sometimes I bean bad.
Mostly I have bean realy good.
I realy want a talking bird.
We would talk all the time.
The other ting I want is a cd player and some cds.
The cds I like.
What I would realy like is a hundred dollars maybe a phone card.
Maybe I could have a stocking full of candy.
Can you give me a go cart or a minny bike.
I need some clothes could you give me that.
Thank you, Ariel