Dear Santa… Love: a 32 year old
I forgot to write you a letter last night. Apparently you noticed…
This morning when I woke up, I found a stack of my old letters to you dating back to 1983. Was this intentional or did one of your elves just leave it lying around? I’ll assume, until I find otherwise, that you meant to do this; I’ve never know your jolly laugh and the twinkle in your eye to contain malcontent (they were also wrapped up with a tiny bow… good hint). In re-reading these precious letters I wrote to you and your replies in return, I have learned 2 things.
- I was probably a frustrating kid to have around because I was always asking questions. It seems my perspective on you, Santa, changed when I was about 8 (that’s probably quite normal eh?). You became less of a physical manifestation of giving and more of a symbol, something that was bigger than a physical entity ever could be. But somehow, I never stopped writing to you… maybe writing is a bridge that connects the tangible with the intangible. On my 17th Christmas, I wrote you a heartfelt letter and you replied by fax (they were amazing times weren’t they?). My mother and father mirrored your words and spirit back to me in this way. Since then, Santa, you haven’t written in reply, but I still feel your spirit mirrored back to me by the wonderful people in my life and so I still leave out a bit of rum and some cookies for you by the fireplace, just in case.
Through my correspondence with you, Santa, I have been able to work though, transform and begin to deeply understand the spirit of giving.
2. This gift, Santa, of a pile of Christmas letters, is essentially an emotional bomb you have deposited under my tree. It carries me back in my imagination to times of lighting candles with warm hands, barely being able to sleep for excitement of Christmas day, snuggling up with mom and dad to open stalking gifts at 5am, eating together with family and lots and lots of laughter. In my remembrance of these times, I am joyous, but there is a twinge of the blade of this double edged sword that is memory. Alongside the joyous memories, I also feel the pain and longing for those people I cannot share this time with, that those memories encapsulate that which can never be again…this is a hard reality to acknowledge. This is what I feel I am learning this Christmas:
Thank you, Santa, for reminding me the value of memory and for HIGHLIGHTING the need to continue to make new memories without the fear of not having them ever again. To live into this gift of life wholly, requires a necessary dose of reflection, coupled with an equal dose of being here, now and living and laughing with a light heart.
Wishing you all love and light this cold (in the Northern Hemisphere, that is) season!! Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas!