Through the years, my children have written many letters to Santa. They have asked for everything from stuffed animals and dolls to major electronics. As they got older, they wanted cell phones and automobiles. Their father and I did everything we could to make sure their Christmas wishes came true. 

One particular year they wanted some glow-in-the-dark building blocks advertised on television and I promised that I would order them, except, I forgot. 

When Christmas morning came around and they opened all the gifts, it didn’t take them long to notice that the glow-in-the-dark blocks were not there.

Despite having bundles of toys before them, they cried about the one missing item they asked for. But more importantly, it was the one thing that I promised them. 

My children are all now grown adults between the ages of 26 to 32 and on occasion still tease me about these blocks. Truth be told, I felt very guilty about not ordering them- a burden I carried with me for years, which brings me to a very recent experience and letters written to Santa by a group of teens.

Imagine, if you will, a little red, unassuming mailbox showing up overnight in a café sitting in a corner. Engraved on it, “Letters to Santa”, with a note pad and pencil perched there to use. No instructions and no mention of it to anyone.  

At the end of the first day I didn’t notice anyone paying any attention to it. I almost didn’t check it, but, something told me to look. 

I opened the box which revealed approximately 20 letters to Santa.  

Upon reading the very first letter, I knew this was no ordinary mailbox filled with requests for toys, clothes or electronics. This box was special. 

Day Two, and the letters continued. They were just as special as the last. When I noticed a pattern, I decided to separate them into categories.

Days Three, Four and Five yielded the same results. I never saw anyone filling out a letter to Santa but when I would check, the box would be full. 

At the end of the week, I had three separate piles of letters.

The first group was what I categorized as “Silly Requests”. These letters asked for things I or nor anyone could get them, hence making them silly. ‘A unicorn,’ asked one girl. ‘A panda,’ asked another. There were four in total silly requests. 

The next group was what I called the “Tangibles”. These were from youth who asked for real gifts. The kind of things my own children would have asked for. There were only two of these types of letters and both of them did not specify what they wanted. All they had written on the paper was “A present”, followed by their names, as if any gift would do. They just wanted the joy of having a gift to open.

The last group of letters was by far the biggest stack. In it was over 40 letters to Santa. Each one was more sentimental than the next, which is why I named this pile “Emotional Letters”. 

What follows are actual notes left for Santa. The only thing I am not sharing with you are the names of the teenagers that signed their notes.

Dear Santa, 

I want to feel love and accepted. It is all I want.

Dear Santa, 

I want people to be happy.

Dear Santa, 

I want a Father.

Dear Santa, 

For my family to be happy, that’s all I want for Christmas.

Dear Santa, 

I want to be able to talk to my sister for Christmas.

Dear Santa, 

I want to be able to surround myself with better influences.

Dear Santa, 

I want to be shown how to love myself before I love others.

One after another, each note to Santa brought tears to my eyes. None of these youth asked for a cell phone, music, clothes or anything tangible. They all asked for the priceless gift of love. 

I thought about my own children and how disappointed they were those many Christmases ago when the glow-in-the-dark blocks were not under the tree. For a split second, I asked myself why my children never asked for anything like these youth did. It didn’t take me long to figure it out. 

My children had a life filled with love. Two parents, four grandparents, siblings and many aunts, uncles and cousins that were all there for them, guiding them, supporting them, encouraging them, praising them and loving them. 

Life had not disappointed them because the people in their lives were there for them. The only thing they had left to ask for were “things”. 

The following is my Letter to Santa:

Dear Santa,

No child should ever have to ask for love or happiness. I long for the days that all children only have to ask for things.

Last, but not least, there were two letters that asked for Santa to be Real. 

I, like many adults, spent a lot of years chasing success, money and things. I worked hard to give my children the things they wanted and felt guilty when I couldn’t afford the latest thing they asked for, or if I simply forgot to order it. In reality, I had already given them everything they needed. 

Furthermore, if you are asking for the latest gadget or vacation for the holidays, it must mean that you are blessed enough to have plenty of love in your life. Count your blessings and help make Santa become Real by spreading the love.

After all, love is the one thing you can give away and never run out of. Life is mysterious. 

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