Christmas is a wonderful time of giving and receiving expressions of love. We all admire those who have found a way to put others first. This season calls us all to be everyday heroes, and to put ourselves second (or third). Ironically, letters to Santa typically focus on the self: what do I want?
I encourage my kids to put their siblings in front of themselves – when it comes to asking for gifts – by writing different letters to Santa.
Letters to Santa
A few years ago, I asked the kids to write a letter to Santa telling him why his/her siblings deserve to be put on the “Nice” List. It was entertaining, and even sweet, to read their letters.
After gathering these different letters to Santa, I took the liberty to type out what the kids wrote about each other. Then I put the printed copy (of what his/her siblings said specifically about him/her) in their stockings for them to find and read Christmas morning. The smiles on their faces when they read about themselves (as seen through the eyes of a brother or sister) were priceless.
These letters might not all be gems, but they won’t be boring:
“I think (#6) deserves presents because he always has a way to smile that mostly isn’t disgusting.” – Love, #5 (2018)
[For a cleaned-up version of the kids’ (2015) letters to Santa, click HERE]
Consider asking your child to do the same kind of activity. It doesn’t have to be limited to siblings- teachers, janitors, bus drivers, etc. might also be delighted to be thought of in this way.
Parental Satisfaction Survey
One year I “received” a survey from the North Pole asking me how the kids behaved all year. I was sure to ponder this survey in my kids’ hearing every opportunity they gave me. “Oh, ” I say sweetly, “you don’t want to do your chores? Hmm, looks like your rating is going to drop.”
The concept of “surveys” might be lost on the smaller children, so I’m not above putting Santa on Speed-dial. Ok, so on my less than graceful days, I might also point to my problem child and say:
“Everybody look! This guy is the reason I’m cancelling Christmas!”
[For your copy of the Parental Satisfaction Survey, click HERE]
[For an idea for the envelope (make sure your child checks the mail), click HERE]
Spread a love of the Season.
Consumerism has a way of hijacking the mental, spiritual and emotional rewards of communicating love of neighbor. Stay true to yourselves and your family in this time of giving, and beware of the stress that leaches the childhood joy away. Write some different letters to Santa yourself!