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Letters worth a good read

Goodness — were we ever swamped this year with letters to Santa Claus.
Maybe it’s the ever-quickening steps of Father Time, but the memories of writing letters to Santa Claus have disappeared into the rabbit hole that is my foggy memory.
The act itself doesn’t register with any specific detail, although my family was not the kind to let this holiday tradition go unfulfilled while I was young enough to enjoy it. Working with the content for the Ennis Daily News, Ruston (La.) Daily Leader and Monroe (La.) News-Star has engendered a new appreciation for the tradition, though.

Typically, the full measure of that appreciation is unlikely to manifest itself until after Christmas has come and gone. The overriding feeling before they print is one of controlled chaos.

Don’t get me wrong, however. The submitting and printing of childrens’ letters to jolly ole’ St. Nick is a responsibility and privilege we aren’t likely to let go of anytime soon.

Something about going through them and reading the heartfelt wishes of the community’s youngest members is unbelievably touching.
There’s almost nothing quite like the feeling you get.

There is, of course, the amazement at the audacity with which some children approach the season of “giving.” It comes across as much more of a season of “getting,” if you know what I mean here. In our very own section of letters to Santa this year, which will hit the streets with Friday’s paper, there are some amazingly tall orders for the old elf.

It’s unlikely he’ll have an extra car (the grown-up kind) he can squeeze into that bag of toys for a second-grader to enjoy, but I guess you never know, right?

I’d imagine it’s equally unlikely that in an economic downturn such as the one we’ve been struggling with, he’ll have an extra $100,000 to throw around. Again, you never know.

The laughs are a great part of it, but the best part is finding the nuggets of pure human kindness manifesting themselves in the hearts and minds of children who aren’t even old enough to be aware of how wonderful they are yet.

These are young people too far removed from the pressure of social convention to feel obligated to make selfless requests of Santa. These are the real deal.

Nothing will melt your heart like a child asking for their parents to get back together. The requests for gifts for their family members before themselves also make a deep impression.

These letters are, in a sense, windows into the untarnished souls of the community’s future leadership. On the other hand, they’re also an amazing study on commercialized culture.

Whichever they are to you, they’re certainly worth a read. You aren’t going to see us purposefully print the word “cresmes” very often, so have a laugh with us.

Nick always loves putting the task of the Santa letters special edition behind him, but looks back with wonder at the young saints of the community. He can be reached at nick@ennisdailynews.com.

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Posted by on Dec 22 2010. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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