For the past several years, one of my favorite time honored traditions of things to do is to answer Santa Letters for the children in our community. The younger grades participate and the Chamber of Commerce sponsers the event. The kids usually write short letters and sometimes draw pictures to put in the envelopes. I send Santa Letters back to the children along with a candy cane for each one.
It is such a joy to read those cute letters. One of the favorite questions this year was "how do you make Rudolf's nose glow?" I seemed as if most of the kids in town wanted to ask that one. I also love the fact that the children actually had small lists of things that wanted. I would say that the average list was only two or three things long. Makes me wonder how much emphasis we are putting on buying and giving, when the kids are really not wanting as much as we think they do.
This year, we have downsized a lot in our family. I have been struggling with the fact that Christmas has gotten so out of hand. We have so many kids, in-laws, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters and parents, that it is easy to spend too much money on everyone. So, this year, I have changed my buying habits and am trying to do less with more. I am trying to focus more on the reason for Christmas, and less on what they are getting. I am trying to remember those Santa letters from all the children and how happy they will be if they just get the few things on their lists instead of all the stuff that we might normally try and buy.
Maybe it is time to remember that Christmas is not about stuff. It is not about how much we receive. It means so much more than the distractions and commercialism that we find during this season.
President Monson said, “Christmas is what we make of it. Despite all the distractions, we can see to it that Christ is at the center of our celebration. If we have not already done so, we can establish Christmas traditions for ourselves and for our families which will help us capture and keep the spirit of Christ.”