07 December 2011

Christmas Tradition: Santa's Letter

Ironically, after I spoke with a young woman this week about the need for gently used toys in the giving closet at our local Children and Family Services office, an important request from an Important Person arrived in our mail box.

This special letter arrived in a special envelope with the names "Oliver and Bennett" on it.   Oliver was in awe when he found out who had written him and Bennett.  (Bennett, on the other hand, being oblivious to the joys of Ole Saint Nick, couldn't have cared any less).

Santa had a very special message for both boys.  So, Oliver sat on the couch to listen intently as I read the letter to him.

In the letter, Santa described his intentions and his desire to bring the boys some new toys this Christmas Eve.  But Santa also indicated he was concerned that the boys might not have room for these toys since they have so many toys already.

Santa shared about how Jesus cares about others and how he would like for Oliver and Bennett to care for others too.  One way Santa suggested that Oliver and Bennett care for others is by giving some of their toys to boys and girls who don't have toys to play with.

It was evident in the letter that Santa knows boys and girls quite well.  He made a four point outline of how Oliver and Bennett could care for others while also making room for new toys: the boys would need to go through their toys and find 20 toys to part with.  I was instructed in the letter to bag these toys and take them to the little boys and girls who needed them.

To my surprise, it took Oliver no time to organize and reevaluate his toys.  He quickly began pulling out toys to a corner of the room, toys he intended to give away.

I began to notice, however, as toy after toy was being pulled out and placed in this corner that these toys were Bennett's toys.   No wonder Oliver was organizing so quickly!  And no wonder Bennett had found himself a fun little corner with plenty of toys to play with!

I patiently allowed Oliver to continue organizing his no-longer-needed toys into the corner but I gently encouraged him to find toys of his own he was ready to part with.  There were certainly a few beloved toys that Oliver was unwilling to give away.  But for the most part, within 45 minutes, Oliver had gathered up 20 of his own toys to give to needy children.  I was very proud of his efforts and praised him for being thoughtful.

I think this will be a regular Christmas tradition - not just the giving 20 toys away - but the practice of giving at Christmas, in general.  I hope that next year I can Santa can challenge Oliver (and Bennett) to love others in new age-appropriate ways such as with Operation Christmas Child or World Visions' Goat and Chickens Gift Giving Catalog.

And my hope is that, in doing this, Brian and I continue to be challenged ourselves to give to others as we watch our little children obey the commandment to "love one another"(...even if they still need a little encouragement from Santa Clause.)


  1. I love this! Might be coming to Santa for a copy of the letter at some point!

  2. LOVE it! And love the World Vision Gift Catalog shout-out ;-)

  3. We have done operation Christmas child for the past 3 years. It is a lot of fun, the kids like picking out the items for the shoeboxes a lot. We also donated our old toys to the preschool and some new, unused excess birthday/last holiday gifts to the angel tree at salvation army.

  4. This year Stella is old enough to help me pick out a way to help others. I used the Samaritan's Purse catalog and gave her a choice of two ways to give. We could provide money to feed an infant for a month or to give chicks to a family to raise and have the eggs to sell. Stella loves baby birds---so she picked the chicks. Now I need to remember to do a new page in her Stella's on a Mission book. :-)


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