Share it

The skater

You can’t send a Christmas card to everyone you know, can you? Let me rephrase that: I can’t send a Christmas card to everyone I know. After all the places I’ve lived, worked and worshipped, the list of people I’d like to wish a happy holiday is amazingly long. Add to that a collection of friends made by marriage and it’s impossible to contemplate.

Each year, I think I’ll swear off the old-fashioned tradition of sending Christmas cards. And then the cards, photos and letters start rolling in. Some of them are such a treat to read that we fight over which of us gets to open them. It seems stingy not to reciprocate a favor that you’ve enjoyed so much.

If you take the big, bold step of saying it’s impossible to send to all, then to whom DO you send cards?

Is it your 50 closest friends? (No, I’ll see most of them and wish them Merry Christmas in person.) Is it the 25 people who’ve been most influential in your life? (Where would you draw the line?) Is it the people you only hear from once a year and may never see again? A church family that has been dear to you? Your first roommates? Your past co-workers, remembered fondly and cherished as friends, but not in your daily life? The people who are NOT your Facebook friends because they don’t use technology or you aren’t that chummy with? Family? (With 18 nieces and nephews and six siblings between us, that’s a box of cards all by itself.)

Letter to santa Instaquote


I have no idea how to settle these questions. With just a few days left, the jury is still out on whether it will get done and if so, how many I’ll send. Either way, my default is a letter to Santa. Why Santa?

Here are three reasons you should keep Santa on your correspondence list.

You’ll realize that the things you want aren’t things at all. A letter to Santa is a wish list, right? Knowing Santa doesn’t bring material gifts immediately brings your attention to the non-materials things you want out of life. If it’s been a while since you’ve thought about that, an open letter to Santa can help you cut right to the chase of your heart’s desires.

You’ll notice what you already have. As a form, we all know that a letter to Santa is designed to ask for stuff. I couldn’t bring myself to ask for anything for two reasons: a) I already have everything I need and much of what I want, and b) See #1 above. Sorry for being a killjoy, but the fact is Santa doesn’t bring stuff. I work, I make money, I buy. You do, too. When you write Santa, you’ll realize what an abundant life you lead. Gratitude is the antidote for all bitterness and craving.

You’ll want to do more for others. The whole Santa experience made me wonder if I’m being generous enough with others, and I thought of two ways I could up the ante on my giving in 2015. (Did you know that the poorest people are often the most philanthropic?) Just writing a Santa letter can make someone else’s wish come true. For every Santa letter Macy’s receives, they’ll donate a dollar to Make-A-Wish Foundation. You can do it online or the old-fashioned way. What an easy way to help!

Have you written your letter to Santa yet? There’s still time! What’s on your list? P.S. You can find the beautiful cards pictured at the top of this post (and other vintage-inspired things) at the Victorian Trading Company. (The Skater, by Joseph de Nittis, 1846-1884.) 

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.