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I’m writing to thank you for your recent letter to my son. Joe is almost 8 years old now and until your letter arrived you’d been living on borrowed time.
My husband and I have fielded more than a few questions this year about your authenticity. Mark does the talking, mostly, and I try to chop vegetables and avoid making eye contact with the boy. I think he can smell my scepticism. Mark, on the other hand, is a big fan of yours. I think having a child who believes in you gives him license to believe again, too.
After I read your letter, which is by far the best you’ve ever sent, I also wanted to respond to a few things.
I’m no literary critic, but your deliciously novelistic details about the “strange ice fog” and the complications it caused your elves in their games of hide-and-seek were especially touching—and convincing, too! If you ever decide to hand over the reins at some point (no pun intended) I know a few editors who would probably love a column written by Santa Claus.
And if you ever need to recruit a replacement I think my husband, given his fascination with lists and rooftops, would be a great candidate. He has some freakish genetic predisposition to never gaining weight, though, so we’d have to increase his fat and sugar intake substantially. An alternative would be to slowly rebrand a reduced Santa, like they did with the Quaker oats guy. In that case Mark would be good to go as is.
I also want to say that your letter has helped to encourage my son in his artistic endeavours. Around here it’s hockey, hockey, hockey. To know that Mrs. Claus is leading a choir and that she has untold musical talents was a real eye-opener for Joe. He’s also in a choir and now feels a powerful connection to the Claus family so thank you for sharing.
And please tell Sherman, your nervous elf, that we, too, wish him well with his upcoming performance. As you said, “he’ll do a great job!”
On the matter of your snowboarding, Joe says you should cease and desist. He thinks you’re brave, but says you’re too old and that all the practice in the world won’t help you avoid a little thing called gravity. I have to say I agree with him.
If Mrs. Claus wants to take those kinds of risks with her health, that’s fine, but you have way too many small people counting on you. Without a succession plan in place it just doesn’t make sense.
As for your promise to “sprinkle the sky above our home with the magic of the holidays” it’s a lovely sentiment but Mark is really persnickety about his roof. He’s asked me to tell you not to sprinkle any foreign objects as they might interfere with the delicate ecosystem of building materials—which he’s utterly obsessed by—that lives on top of our house. Personally, I’d rather not give my husband yet another reason to hoist a big ladder and climb up on the roof to “see what’s going on up there.”
He’s avoiding me—plain and simple—clearly, that’s what’s going on.
I’m not sure if you know this or not, but given that Canada Post has always been the main line of communication between you and your followers, you should be aware that this may be the last of your letters to be delivered to our home. Here’s a rub for you: The waning of my child’s belief in you mingled with the dying breath of home mail delivery and this (quite possibly) last letter from the North Pole bought you one more year. How ironic is that?
Lastly, I wonder if you could help clear something up for me—there have been rumours for years that your HOH OHO postal code in the North Pole is phoney baloney and that it’s really Canada Post employees who take the children’s letters home and write back to them. Is that true?
I’m not against the out-sourcing, or the ghost-writing—you can run your operation however you see fit and God knows we freelancers need the work. I just want to give credit where it’s due.
So if it’s true, could you pass along a big “Thank You” to the folks at Canada Post? This letter really brightened my son’s day. He’s back to believing again, for one more year at least, and that’s some holiday magic worth celebrating.