The Santa Letter 2012

Last year the final flicker of childhood was smothered. My daughter, who for the previous two years had launched a vicious campaign in search of the truth behind Santa Claus, climbed onto the bed which my wife and I share all but demanding to hear from our mouths what she knew to be true. There was no actual Santa Claus.

The boy was easier. Fact is I cannot recall the moment in which the noble story became the noble lie. However the clarity came, my recollection was that it was without remark. The girl was the polar opposite. There was a quick exit when as soon as the words left my mouth. The word “Liar!” trailed behind her as she jetted from our room. My wife too became filled with sorrow, knowing our final child would cease to experience the excitement of Christmas Day with the idea of the bearded gentleman.

It is now a family fact that if you do not believe in Santa you do not get presents from Santa. The lie has become blackmail.

On the lighter side it is an element of family tradition. While what that tradition has to yet have a meaning beyond a form or greedy materialism (Santa’s sole purpose is mostly stockings, if anything), we still go through the motions of leaving out the milk and cookies. This year while my not-s0-little girl was baking sweets for the fat man I made it clear that Santa now prefers Almond Milk. What I was not expecting was a continued embrace of the whole drama from my son’s hand.

This requires some back story.

Amidst the aforementioned investigation by my daughter, a specific inquiry focused on Santa’s “Thank You Letter”. For every note that was left, I would pen a thank you while my wife would leave the reindeer food. Once the doubt crept in my youngest brought to my attention that Santa’s handwriting looked strangely like mine.

In steps my son.

Graciously accepting a position in the propaganda machine, Evan took pen in hand and in 2010 wrote the final thank you which served to selfishly extend Sara’s belief. It was with great joy that in waking up Christmas morning 2012 to find the following by an empty glass of milk and plate of chocolate cookies courtesy of my son.

Dear Sara,

I hope you enjoy this last cookie. I saved this milk for you as well. It was warm by the time I arrived, and I carry my own milk anyway.

I put the cookie in a plastic baggie so it would stay fresh for you.

I crocheted the bag out of reindeer drool and elvish mustache hair.

It is very transparent, yet it is strong and safe. Anywho, enjoy the cookie, I sprinkled some dwarf nose hairs to brighten up your day.


p.s. I’m Mormon

There is meaning here that I must find. All that is needed is a few months of over thinking it. For now it is the gift of family.




Making Christmas Real: Clara White Mission Families

The Clara White Mission is a great charitable organization which does more than just offer solace. They offer vocational training to help people help themselves out of their condition by giving something money cannot buy: Integrity and self-worth. It has been our privilege to be even a small part of their continuing work in Jacksonville, FL.

My wife, who coordinates this every year, sent out her official email detailing the three families that are in need of a Christmas miracle. Is miracle too strong? Maybe, but for those of us for whom life has not been as difficult (regardless of fault) it might be near impossible to fathom a season absent  of hope. A gift from a stranger speaks to something greater than the gift itself and quite possibly could tilt the eyes up. A little known fact: when eyes raise they bring with them the heart, mind and spirit. Crazy how the body works!

So here is her email. Beyond anything that could be bought, gently used books also make a nice addition. Clothing is not an item that has been requested. I know many of you may already be making Christmas special for someone in need but for anyone who can help here is an opportunity. You can respond to this post or contact me via Facebook/Twitter.

I am sending this to you as a Christmas request for help for families who have so much less than most of us do. If you are able to help, please let me know.

Clara White has shared three families that are in great need for Christmas. If you would like to purchase some items we are trying to get at least two toys for each child and a $25-$50 food gift card for each family as well.  We are shopping on Wednesday afternoon at Town Center Target and delivering what we can to Clara White Mission downtown on Thursday at 1:30p.m. I would be happy to wrap any donations, if you can drop them off to my house by Wed. night.

Simpson Family

Ms. Buffy Simpson, 35 years old, single mom, 3 kids

Nicholas, boy, 8 years old

Mariah, girl, 15 years old

Tengen, girl, 12 years old

Bennett Family

Margaret and David Bennett, wife 37, husband 41 (security officer)

struggling to make ends meet, new baby in the house

Victoria, girl, 3 years old

David, boy, 7 weeks old baby

Simmons Family

Andrea Simmons, 38 yr old single mom, 3 teens

Makarri, boy, 17 years old

Alicia, girl, 15 years old

Jasmin, girl, 10 years old

If you would like to pick a particular name/age and buy for that child, that would be great.

Dark Friday Alternative

African Drought Survival Gift


If you turn on your TV or exit your house the evidence of Dark (Black) Friday washes over you like an acid bath. If you find yourself out on Friday, and now on Thursday, please consider putting back one of the items you believe will bring Christmas joy for an even better one. Compassion International is one organization that allows you to give Gifts of Compassion. For $100 you can buy a cow or for $45 you can by a goat for a family. Give the gift in the name of the person you were shopping for or get some friends together and purchase multiple items. Please visit the Compassion International website to see what your options are. I speak from experience when I say you definitely feel the spirit of the season. Here is a video of what the gift can do.


Your gift will help provide clean drinking water, medical treatment, disaster relief, food supplies and much more for Compassion-assisted children and their families.

Meet real needs and bring real joy with a Gift of Compassion, then get family and friends involved by giving gifts in their honor.

Once you purchase a gift, you will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of complimentary greeting cards to send to your honorees. You can select how you would like to send your cards:

  • Have a professionally printed card mailed to you or directly to your honoree
  • Print your card at home
  • Send an e-card to your honoree

Please share any similar sites you go to during this time of year.