Parson to Person: “Santa, Buddy Holly, and the Other Reindeer” Dec 18, 2020

For your holiday-reading pleasure, here are a few “Letters to Santa” that children have actually written–and which probably reveal more than the children intended:

   Dear Santa, Please give me a doll this year. I would like her to eat, walk, do my homework, and help me clean my room.  Thank you, Jenny.

   Dear Santa, Could you come early this year? I’ve been really super good, but I don’t know if I can last much longer. Please hurry.  Love, Jordan.

   Dear Santa, I lost my list of toys, so please just send me the stuff that you forgot from last year.  Todd.

   Dear Santa, I need a new skateboard for Christmas. The one I got now crashes too much. Band-Aids would be OK too.   David.

   Dear Santa, How will you get into our house this year? We don’t have a chimney and my father just installed a very expensive security system.  Julie.

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Yes, we are definitely in the holiday season–and have been for a while if you include Halloween. And I must say that, despite the rampant commercialism associated with all our holidays, I do enjoy them–I think because they bring back some of my fondest childhood memories (which, alas, the pandemic has curtailed this year).

Things I remember: Trick-or-treating as a robot one Halloween, then as a witch the next, then as a priest (basically, the witch’s black dress but without the mop wig), and finally as a “holy ghost” (i.e., wearing a sheet with lots of holes in it).

For Christmas, getting a plastic rocket that you could pump with water and air and shoot up to 100 feet. (You can buy one now at the dollar store, but it was my most prized gift one holiday season.) And our family’s custom of putting pieces of straw in the manger of our creche–one straw for each good deed we did–to “keep Baby Jesus warm.”

Now, of course, I’m a grownup. But that doesn’t change my basic feelings about holidays. I still have a strong child within. Believing that many of you do too, I encourage you to have some light-hearted fun this season. Perhaps some of these children’s renderings of various holiday songs will help to guide you on your way:

“Long lay the world, in Sam and Harold’s parlor…”

   “O come, O come, Emmanuel, and drown some cats in Israel…”

   “Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly…”

   “We three kings of porridge and tar…”

   “He’s makin’ a list, chicken and rice…”

   “While shepherds washed their socks by night…”

   “Noel, Noel, Barney’s the king of Israel…”

“With the jelly toast proclaim…”

   “Sleep in heavenly peas…”

   “Olive, the other reindeer…”

May you have a magical holiday season this year, despite the health and political issues we are all facing right now. And whether you have lit Hanukkah candles, trimmed a tree, or simply washed your socks by night–may you honor the child within yourself, the child in others, and the children who are the world’s future.

Happy Holidays, everyone–with, of course, a little…

peace and unrest,

tony