Ben

Dear Santa, 

I know this letter is late. I am sure that trash bins are full of boxes and pretty paper that people spent small fortunes on, but the point of this letter isn’t to ask you for anything. I know you aren’t real, but more of a symbolic ideal behind Christmas and to keep children behaving somewhat all year around. 

I’ve seen Facebook posts of new iPads and iPhones. Posts of expensive clothing and shoes. Posts of unwanted items because the new ones have taken those items’ once loved place. Oh the greed and envy. Just as green as the Christmas tree. 

I’ve seen posts of big screen tv’s and new surround sounds, Christmas trees so packed with presents that not even a mouse could scurry through. 

I read letters to you of kids asking for so many expensive things. And some asking just for their daddy to be home for Christmas or their loved ones to get better. 

Sadly, we allow children to think that you bring them all of these expensive gifts. I remember Christmas as a child. We got presents, but my parents didn’t go broke or get loans they couldn’t pay back to buy frivolous gifts. I knew how hard they struggled to give us what they could afford. I am grateful for that. Grateful I was taught that Christmas is about love, family, and the birth of Jesus. Not about you, or candy canes and selfish requests of the latest electronic devices. 

Why didn’t little Timmy get the iPad he asked you for, just like his friend John asked for and did receive? Or why didn’t Sally get a pony but her best friend Scarlett did? 

Well, that’s because we’ve taught our kids to ask Santa for things when Santa is Mom and Dad. Or that rich Aunt that lives in Austin. Not you or the elves. And each Santa in each kid’s life can only afford so much. A friend of mine has a gift from Santa under the tree for her kids like socks, coats, and bags of fruit. And then she has gifts from her and her husband, things that she tells her kids that other parents may not be able to afford. Santa can’t afford iPads and iPhones for everyone. 

That’s why Sally got her pony, and that is why little Timmy’s friend John got an iPad and Timmy didn’t. By all means, if you can afford to buy your child the world, do it. But do it humbly. Don’t let them tell the kids that you brought them an $800 electronic device that will probably be broken within a month, and then let them wonder why Santa didn’t bring their friend one too. I’d honestly not be upset if the grinch had shown up and stolen all of the presents. 

I believed in you once too, and for at the ages of four to eight, it was fun and exciting. But my Mom made it that way. I knew, around the time I was 9 that it was my Mom. And I treasured every single gift she has ever given me for Christmas because I know how hard she worked to give me those things. Sometimes we had a lot of gifts and sometimes we didn’t. And I didn’t go around bragging either. If my friend asked me what Santa brought me for Christmas, I’d simply say love, happiness, and another Christmas with my family. 

One time for sure my Granny and PawPaw got our new bikes and some other things for Christmas because we didn’t have money that year. It was either the electricity or stuff we didn’t need. 

I guess I am a very old soul. I know at one point in history you had your moment, giving out gifts to little children. But I think we’ve taken the fun ambiance you add to the holidays way too far. It’s not that I don’t want children to believe in you, but maybe more that I want people to see what Christmas is truly about. You should be an afterthought or an added bonus. I know someone is going to be upset about my letter to you, but that’s okay. It wouldn’t be winter without a few snowflakes gliding around. 

So Santa, my early wish for next year is, granted I am good all year long, is that you would leave just a little more room for the true meaning of Christmas, and maybe limit your iPads and million-dollar LOL dolls. Allow parents to separate what “you and your elves” magically whipped up for their kids, and what they bought themselves. 

Sincerely, 

Ben... “Somewhat-of-a-grinch”

P.S. Seeing how I bought presents this year, much like every year. I ate your milk and cookies. They were so delicious! Oh, and thanks for not letting the reindeer poop on my driveway. We cleaned it and were in hopes that you’d fly on over to the next house to drop off those ridiculous iPads and ugly dolls that “you” made in the North Pole. 

Ben Marmolejo-Najera is the graphic designer for The Henderson News. His email is graphics@thehendersonnews.com. © 2020, Henderson Newspapers Inc.

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