On Christmas Eve 1977, when I had many, many nine-year old questions, my parents encouraged me to write a letter to Santa to ask him these questions. We put the letter I wrote out with the Christmas cookies, milk and reindeer snacks.
I went to bed and in the morning, to my extreme wonder, a letter had arrived from Santa during the night!
The envelope and my address on it. The return address was the North Pole, and the post mark said “North Pole 1 AM Special” in real ink. I was a-m-a-z-e-d.
The letter inside had handwriting that looked nothing like either Mom’s or Dad’s. It read:
North Pole, 1977
Thank you for the pictures, and the drink. Mrs. Claus likes it too. You ask if my reindeer fly, and if I am real.
When you believe in something in your heart, anything is real. Yes, Paula, reindeer fly, and I am real! Does the wind blow the leaves on the tree? Does spring grass smell?
I am the spirit of Xmas. I am as real as you want me to be. I am as real as your best friend, as real as your mother and father’s love for you. I am the spirit of love for all mankind, Paula. Yes, Paula, I am real. Because you believe, I am real.
Merry Christmas Paula.