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A personal Christmas letter to the jolly ol elf
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Dear Santa,

I hope this letter finds you well. The countdown to your annual trek around the world is now down to hours. I bet you are one busy man.

Santa, I was in a toy store the other day and there are so many games, toys, puzzles, wheeled devices and video games. I bet that sleigh of yours is pretty heavy.

I think back on the Christmases of my childhood, when you brought things like metal trucks, wooden blocks and BB guns. Those were the days.

I think back on things I played with until they were absolutely worn out, like the service station for my Hot Wheels cars and the Radio Flyer wagon.

There were years when things came in great boxes. When we got tired of playing with the toys, we played with the boxes.

Santa, I wish you and your elves could fix up a magic elixir that would make folks get along better. When I look at problems here and around the globe, it seems like the bottom line is folks don’t get along with one another. It just seems to me that we could eliminate a lot of skirmishes in the world if people just had a little more kindness in their hearts. You’ve set a pretty good example of that and I thank you for it.

I wish it would start with kids. I saw a kid kick his mama in a store the other day. I hope you were watching and bring him a sack full of coal. I don’t know if the environmental gurus will let you bring coal anymore. The other old standby, a bag full of switches, seems to have also gone into unacceptable territory. Whatever the misbehaving kid item is these days, this boy could use it.

A lot of parents are there, too. Folks who do mean things to kids set a poor example for everyone. Once again, we are in bad need of that aforementioned magic elixir.

Santa, I know a lot of folks need an extra touch this year. A lot of folks need things like jobs, improved health, a warm place to live or even a little more food on their table. I don’t know if you can deliver that, but maybe some of us can step up and help them.

I just wanted to say thank you for all the joy you’ve brought to me over the years. I’m sorry about crying my eyes out in that picture with you about 51 Christmases ago. You do have a very strong presence and I was a tad uncomfortable until I got to know you better.

In those days, you were mighty kind to help my mama when she had a sick husband and two little boys who wanted presents under the tree. I’m much obliged to you.

Be generous to the nice folks who read my column in the newspaper. I have folks who tell me what I put on paper each week makes them smile or remember a good time in their lives. Spreading a little joy is something I learned from watching you and I appreciate you setting such a good example for all of us.


Your friend,


Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on

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