• 57°

Letters to Santa

Every family has their own holiday traditions. For some, tradition involves baking Christmas cookies or crafting new ornaments for the tree. Others enjoy gathering around the television for the annual watching of their favorite holiday movie. If your family has room for just one more Christmas tradition, I’ve got one for you.

For the past few years I have formed a tradition out of reading the special Letters to Santa insert that appears in The Dispatch at Christmastime. I (politely but forcefully) gather my family in the living room or around the dining table and happily read to them what the area children are asking dear, sweet Santa for Christmas this year. It is my absolute favorite tradition and I look forward to it each year.

I do my best to read every letter exactly as it appears. Because The Dispatch prints the letters exactly how they are written, misspellings and all, it can often be fun to keep track of your favorite mistakes. Last year’s Letters to Santa included 15 different ways to spell Christmas: Christmas, Chrismas, Christmis, Chismas, Xmas, Cristmas, Crcirmas, Chrirstmas, Cristmes, Chistmas, Crismis, Crismas, Chrismis, Chrimst and my personal favorite, Chimase.

The items that area children put on their Christmas wish list every year are amazing, ranging from a monkey to 1 million M&Ms and from 12 puppies to all 10 Harry Potter books. You can see what’s trending in terms of toys by reading the letters, as many children are asking for the same type of doll or the latest video game.

Children love to ask Santa for money, although some have their expectations set higher than others. Last year requests included: 80 DOLLARS, 200,000 dollars, 1 trilyn dollers and 100,000,000,000 dalers.

Many children choose to include in their letter a statement of whether or not they have been good this year. Most will claim to have been very good, although my personal favorites are the ones that are trying to make up for lost time. “I have been naughty but I am going to be good,” wrote one little boy last year. Another kid chose to open up his letter with, “I was kinda Good i hope you will except that.”

Some children like to keep their letter short. “Dear Santa, anything,” wrote one little girl last year. Another included only a bulleted list of possible pets: dog, cat, fish, pig.

Some kids ask for only octopus-themed presents. Others hope their stocking will come stuffed with jalapeno cheetos.

Other boys and girls make requests that will bring a tear to your eye, like asking for lost relatives to come down from heaven for the holiday or asking Santa to donate to a charity instead of stopping by their house on Christmas Eve.

When you see those wonderful letters to Santa appear in The Dispatch, go ahead and gather the family around for what is sure to be a very entertaining, heartwarming time. Read them during breakfast, or make them a part of your Christmas Eve festivities lineup. It is a tradition that you will look forward to each year.

Alexa Massey is a staff reporter for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Alexa.Massey@KVDispatch.com.