Santa Letters 2018

Every year, my dad writes the kids beautiful letters from “Santa”. Here are this year’s editions:


Dear Grayson,

Well, once again I have proved that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Regarding the former, I made the terrible mistake of following a route into Texas that took my sleigh over the United States southern border. I had with me eight reindeer, four elves, and Mrs. Santa, who decided to come along this year. That makes a caravan. So of course I was intercepted and detained by a combat brigade of the United States military. It didn’t help that I carried a list of every child in the world (only 3% of whom are American) and that my sleigh is made of steel and aluminum (tariffs, you know).

So here is what I told them: “I’m coming to see Grayson. Grayson represents everything you value and admire. “

* Grayson is a tough-as-nails winner. He has faced incredibly difficult medical challenges since birth, but has persevered with courage, initiative and good humor.

* Grayson is accomplished. This spring he will finish the second grade, with honors.

* Grayson is famous. He is the subject of countless articles, blogs, podcasts and posts.

* Grayson is a fashion icon. (I produced pictures showing your bow tie and fedora.)

* Grayson is up-to-date (new glasses and wheelchair!)

* Grayson is connected (United Airlines does not fly just anybody to the North Pole to see me.)

That did the trick. I didn’t even have to bring up your incredibly good looks. Nor did I mention that you are a child of God, who came on Christmas to be with you and everyone like you, and who promised that you, and everyone like you, are blessed and will inherit the earth, even if they are not tough, accomplished, famous, good looking or living on the right side of the border. Sorry for the run-on sentence, but I’m still carrying an attitude.

The bottom line is that both you and I are here, difficult circumstances and barriers notwithstanding. Difficulties and barriers are no match for Santa, or for you, Grayson.

Merry Christmas!




Hello again Charlotte!

This is Santa, the Christmas guy.  Once again I brought some gifts, words of encouragement, and advice.  You can find the gifts under the tree.  I hope you like them.

I see that you are now half way through kindergarten and working hard! Keep it up.  Kindergarten is the foundation of all that is to come.  It is very important that you discover the joy in socializing with others and in discovering this beautiful world God has created for all of us.  Too many people have skipped, forgotten, or denied that part of their education.

Charlotte, you have many gifts that are far more important than any I can leave for you.  You are privileged to be surrounded by a family that loves you and is able to care for you.  You are smart and articulate and observant.  You have the opportunity to experience love and beauty in places many have not experienced – in the piles of medical supplies for Grayson, for example. You live in a household where “why?” and “why not?” questions are always in the air.   I want to encourage you to always be aware of your gifts and to use them to shine.

My advice is to never forget that what you are learning now is truth. “Treat others like you wish to be treated” (or its biblical root “love your neighbor as yourself”) means exactly what it says, even if those “others” and “neighbors” are knocking at your door, or at your border.   Caring for the earth is a commandment, not a deferrable business expense.   Whenever those truths are challenged, you have Santa’s permission to unleash your formidable intellectual and verbal arsenal to defend them.

Christmas celebrates the coming of the light.  That light is meant to be reflected and refracted and passed on in a thousand different ways (to paraphrase the late President Bush).  That’s how you shine.

Merry Christmas, Charlotte.




Dear Nolan,

You have accomplished a lot in this year of your third birthday!  You’ve learned to ride your bike and drive your jeep, and you’re demonstrating a great ability to make people laugh.  I hear also that you’ve emerged as a jigsaw puzzle master.

I give out a lot of those puzzles, and, living at the North Pole, spend a lot of time working on them.  There are few acts of completion more compelling than fitting the last piece into the shiny surface of a newly completed cardboard work of art.  Sadly, almost every rug in almost every house of the world hides one or more of those “last pieces”.   Maybe that’s what Henry David Thoreau had in mind when he said we all lead lives of quiet desperation.

Nolan, I am excited to see what pieces will make up your life and the unique work of art they will form.

I hope you will celebrate missing pieces, because they afford the possibility of growing in other directions.  I hope that what you create will end up on the cover of the box for others to emulate.

Merry Christmas, Nolan.




  1. Cathy Slusser on December 26, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    This is beautiful.

  2. Eric on December 27, 2018 at 4:35 am

    Incredible, I see where you get some of your writing skills and a portion of your character.

  3. Jessie on March 11, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Thank you for sharing.

  4. Harry Brooks on April 7, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    I couldn’t have said it any better.

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