For weeks I had built up to it.
“We’re going to have to write to Santa Claus this year, Violet,” I told my daughter. “He really loves getting mail from all the kids around the world and I think it will be pretty exciting for him to open his mailbox and find a letter from you in there.”
She would smile and agree with me, not totally grasping the concept at first.
Slowly though, she came around.
“What are you going to ask Santa for when we write him a letter?” I’d ask her.
“A little gold bouncy ball!” was her answer every time. Now, I have no idea how or where she ever got the idea of a ‘little gold bouncy ball’ as her main desire, but she did and that was that.
And who am I to argue with such a simple and easy request, right?
This was the scene starting right after Halloween, We’d discuss the letter we needed to write a little and then move on to other more pressing matters (cookies, Crayons, stickers). Then, about ten days ago, I started getting a little nervous for her.
“We’re well into the holiday season now, kid. We’d better actually splash a little ink down on some paper and get that letter done pronto, Tonto.”
And so we did.
One night during dinner I announced to my three year-old girl that tonight was the night. It was high time we wrote those very first letters to old Saint Nick. In retrospect, like a lot of things Christmas, I was probably way more into it than they were for a long time. But once my wife sat down at the table with them and began the ball rolling with a large cache of junk-drawer markers and pens and envelopes and stickers, they caught that Santa Claus fever real quick. Even Henry, who had no real idea what we were all up to, joined in the fray.
Check it out for yourself.
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Here we go! 1 of 14Mom helped Violet steer the pen towards the North Pole.
Just the right words 2 of 14Violet thought long and hard about what she wanted to say to Santa Claus. Of course, some stuff had to be edited out for the sake of brevity.
‘I will leave you a cookie and choclate milk 3 of 14Just looking at the final draft made me so proud and verklempt.
Henry decorates 4 of 14One year-old Henry made sure to put some of his original artistic flourishes on the envelopes.
A thing of beauty 5 of 14To be honest, I had a hard time putting these masterpieces in the mail.
Stickers! 6 of 14Henry took his stickers very seriously. I think Santa was probably pretty impressed with such a delightful envelope.
A special trip 7 of 14The next day, after preschool, I picked Violet up and we headed for the post office on a special trip to mail those letters off to the North Pole. We were both pretty excited.
Let me hold the letter! 8 of 14After a while, Violet insisted on holding her letter to Santa while we were in the car. I don't think she trusted me with making sure nothing happened to it.
Commemorative shot 9 of 14I made Violet stand by the Post Office sign with a picture of Mr. Claus. Why? Because I'm a dork, I guess.
All stamped up and ready to roll 10 of 14After we bought a book of cool Santa Claus stamps (who wouldn't like a letter with his OWN picture on the stamp?) we went outside to put them in the mailbox together.
Good luck! 11 of 14Violet waved her letter in the air one last time for good luck and then....
Away you go! 12 of 14...with a little help from Dad, my little girl mailed the very first letter of her life. And who better to be on the receiving end than Old Saint Nick?
A cool feeling 13 of 14I was overcome with a really cool feeling as we both watched Violet and Henry's letters disappear. It was a small thing in the scheme of the world, i suppose. But it was areal big event in our own lives.
Make sure they’re in there 14 of 14Of course, I had to begin teaching my daughter my strange practice of double-checking that the letters actually fell down into the box. They had, obviously. And we were off. Merry Christmas!
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