It’s been a very long time since I’ve written you. There are no good excuses for it. I certainly can’t complain to you that life’s been busy and gotten in the way. You, of all people, know about being busy and getting the job done anyway. How you manage to do it all and keep your good cheer, I’ll never know, but I’ve got to believe that there’s magic involved somehow.
Believing in magic is what Christmas is all about, isn’t it? But people usually write to you because they want something, and there really isn’t anything you could make in your workshop—even though you’ve got more going for you than Amazon ever will—that I’d want.
Rather than asking for things for myself, I’ve enjoyed doing my impersonation of you. Not with the red suit and beard, of course, but trying to be generous and kind, trying to live up to your spirit of joyfulness, trying to make a little magic of my own—and when the magic works, it’s truly a miracle, a gift to myself, a blessing to be savored and remembered when the world isn’t as bright and cheerful as I might like. It seems cliché and terribly trite to say, “I wish it could be Christmas all year,” (and if I’m being honest, I think as much as I love the decorations, I’d get sick of them if they were staring at me 365 days a year) but I wish the feeling of goodwill toward all and that generosity the season brings was visible all year long.
The world has changed a great deal since you started making your yearly ride. That wish for the spirit of Christmas to last longer has been corrupted by greed, starting earlier and earlier each year to pressure people in buying more things, spending more than they can afford, all in the effort to make a Merry Christmas. You and I know it’s not about how big, how expensive or how much you get, but that it comes from the heart. The best gifts are the ones you can’t wrap up and put under the tree. The love of family, near or far. Taking time to be in the moment, to listen and remember. To go out of your way to make someone smile. It’s all the little things. For all of us to know in our hearts what the Grinch and Ebeneezer Scrooge had to learn the hard way. Christmas is so much more than the trimmings.
I know this is your busiest time of the year and I don’t want to keep you from your work, but I wanted you to know you’re loved and appreciated. May you live forever and continue to spread Christmas joy throughout the world—and if you can use your magic to make that feeling linger long after the celebrations, that would be the best gift any of us could receive.
Your old friend,