Published in the Rains county Leader on November 27, 2018:
It’s been a long time since I wrote a letter to Santa – in fact, I’m not sure I ever did. When the Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck Christmas catalogues arrived sometime in November, my brother and I went through them page by page with special attention to the toy sections. We marked items we wanted and passed the information on to Mom and Dad. Somehow they made sure the pertinent information reached the Jolly Old Elf because on Christmas morning one or two items appeared under the Christmas tree. (Santa wasn’t nearly as extravagant in those days, at least in our neighborhood.) Anyway, I thought a note was long overdue, if for no other reason than to say thank you for gifts of Christmases past.
How are you? I’m fine – well, not exactly fine but getting better. I’m recovering nicely from my shoulder surgery, but considering how it hurts when the weather changes, I think the doctor installed a barometer in there before he sewed me up. My knee acts up some, too – probably from a skiing incident several decades ago. It would probably feel better if I would lose a few pounds, but I’m sure you know all about that.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m not great about writing thank you notes. Better late than never, though, so here goes. Thank you for the Saucy Walker Doll, the Betsy Wetsy, and the Toni Doll over the years. After I was too old to really play with them, Granny Hagan made an elaborate wedding dress for the Toni Doll, and she sat on my bed for many years waiting for her prince to come. When he didn’t show up and it became obvious that I wasn’t going to have a daughter, I sold her and her sisters in a garage sale for $12. A collector was extremely happy but would have been more so if I had saved the boxes.
I loved the Hula Hoop, but my favorite was the blue bicycle. When I first sat on it, I couldn’t touch the pedals, but Dad lowered the seat and I put lots of miles on those wheels. I’m not sure what happened to it. After I married and left home, Mom and Dad probably needed the space in the garage and sold it in another garage sale.
I wasn’t too sure about the clock radio you brought me one year. I didn’t remember asking for it, but when I had the mumps a year or two later, it really came in handy. Dad had never had the mumps, so I was confined to my room the whole time with NO TV! By the time I was well, I knew the words to every song on the Top 40 List, some of which I wish I could forget. To this day, “What’s New, Pussycat” sets my teeth on edge.
The point is, I’m very grateful for all the fun and joy you brought into my life, but as I understand it, the purpose of a letter to Santa is to let you know what I want this year. However, through the years my wants and needs have lessened, so the list is very short. I don’t need jewelry, because diamonds are a bit too much with jeans. New clothes are fun, but until I get rid of some of what I have, there’s no room for even a t-shirt. The same is true for books – the few bookshelves we have are stuffed. Besides, that’s what libraries and garage sales are for. A new motor home with some of the latest bells and whistles and four wall slides instead of two would be nice. But the one we have still has lots of miles in her, and she holds a lot of memories.
The only thing I can think of that I really want is something Pastor Jason mentioned on Sunday. In a sermon he called “Jesus: The Divine Word,” he read the following quote from “Prince Caspian” by C.S. Lewis. For those who are not familiar with “The Chronicles of Narnia,” Aslan is the Christ figure in this series that is full of religious symbolism.
“Aslan” said Lucy “you’re bigger”.
“That is because you are older, little one” answered he.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
That’s what I want, Santa. As I grow older, and hopefully more mature in my faith, I want Jesus to grow bigger to me, especially during this season when we celebrate His birth. I know that’s not something you can bring in your bag, but if you have a Prayer List along with your Naughty and Nice Lists, please put me on it.
So, after thinking it through, you can skip our house this year. I’ll take care of David and Kitty, and since I’m lactose intolerant and David is a diabetic, there won’t be any milk and cookies. My best to you, Mrs. Claus, and the elves.