TRC and I had an . . . interesting conversation last night. It didn’t go too terribly well. Thankfully, I sent off a missive to the North Pole for a bit of help, and I promptly received a reply this morning, with a personal note from the fat man himself for my son. I had to peek–curiosity got the better of me, and if that means I get fewer presents this year, so be it. I thought some of you might be interested to see what the note had to say, so I’m posting it here for your perusal. Really sums up a lot of my feelings about the holiday, Santa Claus, and why I believe.
In any case, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas. I’ll see you next week. Here’s the letter:
So. I got my daily report in this morning, and I saw that you and your father had a talk about me last night. That’s something that happens a lot to kids your age. Your dad was particularly upset with how the conversation went, though. He doesn’t handle surprise chats too well sometimes, and so I decided to send you a personal letter to explain things myself. Straight shooting, straight from the fat man from the North.
The truth is, Christmas got away from me. Like most good things, it just got to be so successful that I couldn’t keep up—not with the elves, not with the extra reindeer, not with modern advances in present making technology. So I was faced with a choice. I could either give up the whole thing, or I could switch my approach.
And really, what choice did I have? The whole reason I started this tradition was to bring happiness and joy to children. To see the light in their eyes when they opened a present they’d been hoping for. To see the excitement they had when they looked out the window, wondering if they’d catch a glimpse of my sleigh. If I gave up Christmas, what would it do to all of them?
So I switched my approach.
There comes a time in an adult’s life—usually right around when they get married—when they make the transition. It’s a big shift, though it might not seem like that at the time. They go from getting presents from me to getting presents for me. And I don’t mean they’re wrapping up harnesses for the reindeer for me to open on Christmas morning.
What I mean is that adults who still believe in me (and many still do) start to work for me. I don’t pay them, just as I don’t pay the elves or the reindeer. They do it because they love me and they love you and they want to make sure Christmas keeps on Christmasing.
You wanted to know how it really works, and I’m telling you. Children write letters to me. Their parents help them, and they send those letters off to me. I take a look over what the kids want, and I compare it to how good of kids they’ve been that year, and then I let the parents know what presents the kids should be getting Christmas morning, and together, we make sure that happens.
I still go out every Christmas Eve. It’s important to me that you know that. I still get the reindeer suited up. I still have the elves working for me all year round, getting things ready for Christmas. And for a few lucky families out there, I make an in-person visit. I let the parents know ahead of time, of course. No need for kids to get double presents, after all. But I make the parents swear an oath of secrecy not to reveal that I came in person. It wouldn’t be fair to the other children.
I must head out, though. That way, every Christmas morning, every child who opens up a present from me can still look at it in wonder, not knowing exactly how it appeared there. Not knowing which elf worked on its assembly. Even children like you, who already have started to wonder if I really could exist.
Have I visited your house personally over the years? I can’t let you know. But I think you have a hunch already, and it’s always a good thing to follow your hunches. But I can also say that your mom and dad are some of my best employees. They do a lot for me, and I appreciate their help. You should too. One day, I hope you’ll be working for me as well. But for now, enjoy your Christmases. Keep those letters coming. Keep being a good boy. And don’t give your sister such a hard time all the time.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It’s magic, and just like most magic, it’s better if you don’t look into it too much. Stare too long at a piece of magic, and it will vanish into the air before you know it.
Merry Christmas, TRC. I hope you like what I picked out for you this year, and I look forward to hearing from you again next year.