An Open Letter to Santa Claus

Christmas is a time for miracles

Dear Santa,

Hi, I hope you have been well since I last wrote. I know, it has been too long, my fault not yours. Fifty-five, sixty years or so? Time flies!

I could give you some lame excuse; life gets in the way, busy at the office, bla-bla-bla. You probably don’t want to know what I have been up to anyway. I am not going to bore you. I am sorry, I should have reached out long before this.

There was a time when you were an important guy in my life. You only came for that one visit a year, but it was magical. I remember laying in bed listening for you. Sometimes, I would peek out the window hoping to catch a glimpse. I am pretty sure I saw you once, but I was tired, I can’t be positive.

You never let me down, every Christmas you made it. I knew you had been there because when I got up, there were gifts under the tree, and your cookies and milk were gone. So, I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated those annual visits. They made the happy times happier and the tough times easier to bear.

Now I know there was more to your visits than the gifts with my name on them. You left lessons under the tree as well. You taught me that giving was more important than receiving. How excited I got when my mother opened the gift I bought her. One year, a clumsily wrapped fifty-cent figurine from Woolworths. Another year, and the most memorable, a brand new clothesline complete with a roller and a bag of pins. For my younger readers, there were no dryers back in the day. Clothes dried in the sun. Anything to make mom’s chores a bit easier. No matter what it was, she always loved it. I got to feel a little boy’s pride in making his mother happy.

Nothing says MERRY CHRISTMAS like a brand new clothesline.

Santa, you also taught us about family. Our parents would sit a bit closer on Christmas morning, and siblings were kinder. There is no better family day than Christmas.

My greatest Christmas lesson came in 2010. My son was in the last stages of his battle with cancer. At that point, we were simply managing his pain. We all knew it was his last holiday season. How do you celebrate under those circumstances?

Our boy would not be deterred. At 22, he had every right to be angry and resentful. He chose otherwise. He would not allow illness to overshadow his favorite day.

Mom, dad, sister, aunts, and cousins followed his lead. We sat around the tree and laughed, opened gifts, and shared stories. He was right where he belonged, in the middle of his family, I can not tell you the peace and joy we all felt that Christmas. He passed away the following April.

Enough reminiscing Santa, let me get to the point of my letter. America is hurting. Three-hundred-thousand of our fellows have died from the virus. Right and Left are so far apart there doesn’t seem to be a middle anymore. Children are going to sleep hungry while parents worry about a roof over their heads. We are not all hurting Santa, but enough, too many. You get plenty of mail, you know.

I know you can’t fix all our problems, you are Santa, not God. But, perhaps you can help. You might leave some compassion under the trees this year? Could you also leave some generosity? And forgiveness, don’t forget the forgiveness! That would be great. Our world seems to need those things right now. Also, bring some of that Christmas Spirit we knew as kids, that would be amazing. I know you have that stuff on your sleigh because I have seen it so many times.

My family had the best Christmas ever as we faced the unthinkable, so I know what is possible.

Well Santa, I have got to run. It has been great catching up and I promise not to be such a stranger. Please give my regards to Mrs. Claus. Be safe on the 24th and think about what I asked for this year.

Isn’t Christmas a time for miracles?

                                                                                                       Love, McGeno

And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun, The near and the dear ones, The old and the young.

~John Lennon


  1. This is a beatuiful letter to Santa and a wonderful reminiscence of your last Christmas with your son. I can’t say if knowing it’s the last one is better or not since I had no choice. This is my first without my only child; my lovely daughter, Tess.

    I will say that what turned out to be our last Christmas together was wonderful. We had so much fun, great food, lovely gifts and were with the small group that composes our immediate families. It will always be one of my fondest memories.

    Thinking back on that day and comparing it to what we are facing this year could be very depressing. With that in mind, my husband, Perry, our dog, Harry Potter, and I are hitting the road and heading to Arizona to do something completely different. (A Monty Python Christmas?) The hope is that we will be able to have peace and joy in a new surrounding. This is not to forget … Never. I will never forget our last Christmas and I won’t let that happy memory overshadow future Christmases. That would “take the ‘J’ out of Joy. Pointless and unhealthy.

    My daughter is in my heart and mind every day. I will always love her. Raising her was the best thing I ever did and I am so grateful I had 31+ years with that wonderful person. She is my angel.

    And so, I wish a Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Chris (O’Beirne) Powers


    1. Chris, I think about you Tess and Perry often, Always hold on to your memories. See Tess in and out of your life every day. I hope you have a good trip to Arizona. Be well.


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