Letters to Santa

photo from the British Postal Museum & Archive

It’s snowing outside, and I just sent off my annual letter to Santa (via email).  It’s pretty exciting, people.

Yes, I’m twenty-six years old.

This is how it went down in my family.  My parents didn’t want to lie to us and tell us that certain things were real when they weren’t, so I was that annoying kid who went around telling all the other kids that Santa wasn’t real.  Or I was smugly thinking to myself, “I know the truth.”  Either way, I was probably obnoxious about having that piece of information.

While they were keeping us solidly grounded in truth, my parents also put out stockings and cookies on Christmas Eve.  And then they left presents in our stockings and ate the cookies off of the mantel.  It became a game that we played instead of something that we believed in.  I guess that’s true for a lot of kids who kind of know that Santa isn’t real from the start and go along with it anyway.

Somewhere along the line, I think when I was about 15, the Christmas Game expanded to include letters to Santa.  It’s my favorite part of the “faux ho ho.”  I write, and he writes back.  His handwriting is mysteriously similar to my dad’s handwriting.

The real excitement began when Santa left a few cigarette butts on the cookie plate and some stuff in the letter about how he was desperately trying to quit.  It was the beginning of the not-so-jolly Santa.  Then when I studied economics in college, Santa talked to me about outsourcing and elf labor.  I think we also covered topics like the best place for a post-Christmas vacation and some less than flattering details about the reindeer.

We just have a good time with it.  I write a letter to Santa like he’s an uncle I talk to once a year (you know, an uncle who flies around the world delivering presents to people), and he writes me back in a grumpy, no-nonsense way.  It’s awesome.  If Santa did exist, I hope he would be like the Santa my dad has created over the years.  I’m excited about what he has to say in 2010.

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