Children are most hilarious when they're not even trying to be funny. Art Linkletter demonstrated this in his classic TV show Kids Say the Darndest Things.
It's also reflected at this time of year in children's letters to Santa. For example, there's this one from a boy named Tennessee who wrote simply, “Dear Santa, text my Dad. He has my whole list.” (Why waste time with redundancy, right?)
And there's this one: "Dear Santa Claws, I'm so sorry for what I did in the past. And thank you for the Christmas letter. I love it but what I want for Christmas this year is 53 billion dollars.” (Go Big or Go Home, I always say.)
A Different Type of Christmas Letter
Mental health professionals who work with children say that important days like birthdays and Christmas give children security and structure. They are an important part of the child's emotional well-being. Experts agree that this year with its uncertainty, fear, disruptions, and even losses, the special occasions for children are especially important.
So many of the letters to Santa this year offer a glimpse into what children are aware of and thinking about this Christmas season following a year of illness and financial hardships.
"Dear Santa, Merry Almost X-mas. I know you are very busy but I hope you can read this. It's from me and my brother. We have been very good. sometimes we fight but still love each other. We would like a Nintendo Switch to share but I know it's a lot of money so it's OK if we don't get one. Thank you, Santa! I wish covid was over so we can hug."
Love, Andy (age 5)
Savannah, age 9 added a P.S. to her wish list. "I'm sorry if I've been bad it's really hard because of Covid 19 and online school (and school in general) I'm trying to be good. Hope you understand."
"Dear Santa, I don't want anything for Christmas, but I would like to ask if you can please do me a favor: can you please find a cure for covid-19 and give it to us to save the world. Thank you." Love, Jonah.
Excerpts from other letters
"Were you sick during this virus thing? Please come this year. Wear a mask if you have to." (a boy from Texas)
"I just want mom to be happy. I know this Christmas is going to be hard for her." Love, Lulu
"It's been a hard year for all of us but mostly my Mom. If you didn't know my Grandma died. Since then it hasn't been the same." Love, Dalehnie
"Dear Santa, I usually come and see you but because of Covid-19 I have to write you a letter. I hope you and the reindeer are okay, and that the sleigh is in good shape. I want a Throw Throw Burrito game but if you can't get that you can get me something else you think I would like." Love, Eli "P.S. If you get bored you can build a snowman."
"Dear Santa, I think you know who I am so hi. The one BIGGEST thing I want for Christmas is for my family to get along…so could you please help us out. I hope you can write me back to me but I want you to know how much my family means to me." Love, McKinlie
Alina, 5, asked in her letter that Santa please use the front door because the back door is only used by Grandma and Grandpa to lower their risk of catching the bad virus.
Lola, age 10, in France, wrote, “My mother is a care-giver and sometimes I am scared for her. Take care of yourself Father Christmas, and the Elves.”
Young Zoe asked only for a music player and a visit to an amusement park because “this year has been very different from others because of COVID-19. That's why I am not asking you for many things to avoid infection.”
Jim, from Taiwan, put a face mask inside the letter he sent to Father Christmas and wrote “I (heart) u.”
Here's hoping that the letters from children to Santa next year will retain the sweetness without the sadness, that next Christmas the childlike honesty and humor will eclipse this season's expressions of disappointment and worry. May that be true for us adults as well.
Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin (www.ramonpressontherapy.com) and the author of several books. Reach him [email protected]