My Dearest Santa,
As a boy, I never asked for anything for Christmas. You may remember that or not. Part of it was likely my paralyzing shyness. (Best to get all of that nonsense out of the way forever, eh?) 🙂 However, no small part was due to the fact that (and my deepest apologies to you, sir) I never believed in you. No one had done anything to make me disbelieve — quite the contrary. I was a very logical boy, and as I couldn’t rationalize how your feats were possible in the absence of magic ( which I also doubted) I thus doubted your existence.
Not the norm for a five-year-old boy, I grant you, but there you are. That is who I was, and until recently, who I remained. However, in the last few years, I have learned to suspend belief. It began as a trickle, with a poorly remembered dream. As the years have passed, I’ve learned to reconsider the series of failings that reinforced my belief that “dreams are for suckers.” Indeed, in retrospect, they were not failings at all, but imperfect wishes. I hoped for the perfect family and got dysfunction. I reached for the ideal mate but found only solitude. I asked for and purchased a beautiful home only to end up in a smaller one I never liked. Fail. Fail. Fail. Not surprising, when you think of it. How can one hope to achieve the rewards of dreams without taking the risk?
Now, however, I understand that I am where I need to be, free to achieve my own dream. It was never that fantasies do not come true. Rather, it is that we get the gifts we need, or deserve, but not always the ones we want.
Which brings me back to my childhood. There was a simple reason why a Santa-dubious kid would decline to ask for gifts at Christmas. I “knew” my mom bought the presents and didn’t think she could afford to and didn’t need to spend her money on me. I wanted her to know that whatever she did, it was perfect to me. She never told me she understood that, but she didn’t have to. We’ve always been like that … no need to talk about what is already known.
So, for reasons only indirectly related to you, I absolved you from your “responsibilities” to one unhappy, but noble kid, me. And being older, wiser, and far less noble, I must call in my IOU. There are two things I want Santa, and the 2nd is the only means to achieve the first. Assuming you are real, as you must be, you know my heart. This year, this week, and beginning this hour, I need the impossible to happen. I will not name it because I know that I don’t have to.
You know, I know, and now, perhaps, so does she. We have one shot, Santa. I pray you help me to make it a good one. And sure, I know you’re not God, nor do you possess superpowers. But you have one thing the rest of us don’t have: the unending hopefulness of children. So bring me some, Santa. This time, little Billy’s staying up all night, listening for hoofbeats.
She’s just my size, Santa. Help me bring her home.