I thought I would have a hard time picking a favorite holiday memory for today’s Theme Thursday.
Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, but to pick just one favorite memory? That might be a bit of an impossible task for me.
I thought that maybe I would write about Christmas Eve. I love the anticipation – the going to midnight mass, coming out after church to softly falling snow, putting out treats for Santa, snuggling into bed with both my brother and sister and waiting for Christmas morning to come.
And then I thought maybe I would write about the very special Christmas Eve, when J. asked me to marry him – and the Christmas Eve nine years later when he asked me again – definitely ranks as two of the best Christmas gifts on the all-time list.
But today I opened up my email and my Dad had found, and sent me, a copy of the letter. I had tried to write about this Christmas last year, but didn’t do a very good job of re-creating it. When I realized that the letter was attached, I knew there wouldn’t be a photo for today’s Theme Thursday. This memory takes a written form, and I don’t have a photo that captures it nearly as well as this.
The letter that was under the tree on Christmas morning, 1992.
To All Non-Believers
It has come to my attention that a number of you no longer believe
in me and the happiness that my efforts can produce. You have been
identified as one who no longer wishes to enjoy the receiving part
of my efforts, and in so doing are denying me the pleasure of
giving which is the reason I exist.
I am therefore discontinuing my sharing with those who refuse to
experience this truest example of Christmas’ meaning. But I will
take this opportunity to remind you of the Spirit of the Season
that you are forsaking.
St. Nicholas and later Santa Claus visited homes at night,
especially poor families, or those with children, to leave gifts.
The purpose of the clandestine visits were to provide gifts to
someone without them knowing who left them. That way the recipient
could not feel obligated to return the favor. It is much the same
way that God provided us with the gift of Eternal Life. He sent
His Son to die for us, even before we knew who He was. Then the
gift was completely free without obligation, it is ours for the
Your belief in those Santa presents under the tree are intended to
symbolize the same thing. If you simply accept them, and don’t
question where they came from, or who pays for them, then the
pleasure is shared by the giver as well as the recipient. The gift
can then be enjoyed without having to “match it” or return the
If you can agree with this reason for having Santa stay in our
celebration, you can take part in this sharing opportunity by
looking outside the door for gifts. (Just like St. Nicholas). If
you still can’t see the advantage to believing in the need for
Santa, your gifts will be shared with someone else.
Enjoy the rest of your day, and the time you have with each other.
This piece of paper forever changed the way I look at Christmas. It was a very memorable Christmas indeed. I think of it often, and what a fantastic gift the letter was – back then and again now.
I think it is just a good little reminder while we are all running around, crazed and trying to get things done.
Enjoy the season.