Dear Mr. Claus

By Cheryl Mahoney

It’s that time of year again.  Garlands are strung and lights go up and the malls are packed and kids write letters to Santa Claus.  And sometimes, adults do too.  Here’s what I might ask for, if I were to write to the man at the North Pole.

Dear Santa Claus (or St. Nicholas, or Father Christmas, or Kris Kringle–whoever’s listening),

I hope you, and Mrs. Claus, and the elves, are all well this year.  In the enchanted land of Santa’s village, I’ve no doubt you are.  Out here in the rest of the world, I can’t complain for myself, but the world in general has quite a few troubles.  But you’re likely aware of that, considering you have eyes everywhere!  So for Christmas this year, while I would like Michael Crawford’s autobiography or the complete Star Trek DVD box set, there are a few bigger matters you might look into.

To start with the most pressing, time-wise, I’d like world leaders at Copenhagen to feel some of that giving, harmonious spirit you embody, and do the right thing for all of us by coming to an agreement for reducing carbon emissions and protecting the planet.  Perhaps you’ve encountered the problem of climate change yourself, Santa–have you noticed any melting near the North Pole?  If leaders can’t come to an agreement though, please, no coal this year.  How about some CFL Lightbulbs instead?  Could be a good way to change with the times…

My mother’s been asking for world peace for Christmas (and sometimes birthdays and Mother’s Day too) for years.  I think we’d both settle for peace in the Middle East though.  And in Darfur.  And the Philippines.  And…well, perhaps you’d better aim for world peace after all.

I don’t need money, but a few millions would be nice–a million trees planted and a million mosquito nets for Africa and a million soccer balls for kids in refugee camps.  And a million girls going to school and a million babies born safely and a million letters sent to old friends.

I’d like unemployment rates to go down, and charitable donations to go up, for volunteering rates to increase and for UniversalGiving’s follower count on Twitter to reach 2,000.  I’d like people to think about others who are in need of a little help, and to think about reaching out.  And to keep that spirit into the new year.

And in the spirit of “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” I suppose I’m not really writing to the man at the North Pole at all, but rather–to whoever is listening.  Santa might be the only one who can help everyone all  by himself (with some help from elves), but everyone can help someone.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.”

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