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Friday, December 9, 2011

Wish Lists and Letters To Santa

While I was growing up letters to Santa were a must if you were going to be guaranteed any in put on your Christmas gifts.  As soon as I was told that it was time to make the list it was as if the starting gun went off.  Making the list meant that Christmas was on its way!  Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and everyone that I hadn't seen for months will be busily chatting around the family table soon.  We would be baking Christmas cookies and singing carols in no time.  Decorations and street lights will be going up soon and day dreaming would become a irresistible pastime.  It was a chance to dream of grandeur; Santa would get my letter and list and I would have wrote it so well that he would cheerful bring me every last toy and trinket on it. 
At that time the Sears catalog was still huge and both they and JcPenny would print their Christmas series called the Wish Book.  These brightly colored books were amazing; hundreds of pages covered in pictures of every toy you could imagine.  Even if it wasn't a toy the item intrigued me because at that time we didn't really have super stores.  Many of the featured items could only be purchased through the catalog so they were unique and never seen on the store shelves.  As a small child it was easier to believe that Santa brought your gifts because there were no Walmart emblems on the packaging.

Once I was blessed with having my own children I always asked them to make a letter to Santa and their own Christmas list.  Gone were the days of thick dreamy catalogs but there were so many other stores contributing to the clutter of advertising that I would be able to gather together a pretty impressive pile of magical fliers.  When they were too little to write out everything I would help them with the letter and then give them scissors and glue.  Their little collages would be choppy and hard to make out at times but most of the time it sent a clear excited message; Christmas is coming!
It seems that many kids do not make Christmas lists or even write letters to Santa any more.  They take for granted that they are going to wake up on Christmas morning and all they wanted will be there.  I am not sure how that tradition goes now maybe Santa has taken to bugging each house and that is how he knows but I think that there were many important things going on when we made those lists.
Growing up, writing those letters gave me and my kids an element of magic and anticipation, it was something that you looked forward to as it kicked off the holiday season.  I also found that those were perfect teachable moments; my kids wanted to spell everything right, they wanted their handwriting to be perfect and I can't forget to mention it also gave me a moment of peace and quite.  Fortunately my kids never questioned why they didn't get certain items from the list; it was understood that it was a Wish List. But to keep them encouraged I did make sure at least a few of those things on the Wish List would arrive on Christmas morning. 
I hope that more families will be able to find the time to teach this fun holiday tradition to their kids and please, as a favor...Don't have them text Santa the list.

Have a blessed day.

1 comment:

Paige said...

Thank you so much for the shout out! <3 paperlovesink