you make me want to believe, again.

So…yeah…I’ve never really liked Christmas.  I know, I know.  I should expect a lump of coal in my stocking for admitting that, but it’s the truth.  I’d try to explain myself, though figure it’s best not to out of fear that you’ll start calling me The Grinch.  When this phenomenon began is a mystery to me.  Maybe I need to be visited by my Ghosts of Christmas Pasts to uncover the defining moment that left me wishing that I could hibernate through December instead of having panic attacks in departments stores as *NSYNC and Britney Spears’ holiday tunes blasted over the fa-fa-la-la-las of frantic shoppers at Ross Park Mall. 

But things are different this year.  Noticeably different.  Perhaps my heart grew this holiday season.  Or maybe I overcame my allergy to green & red color patterns, allowing me to embrace this thing known as Christmas spirit.  Whatever it is, I like it.  Several times during these last few weeks I’ve found myself walking down the street smiling at holiday lights, tapping along to covers of Last Christmas and wishing kids a “Merry Christmas” after asking them what they asked Santa for.  You know, that last part is the reason why I find myself jolly this year: The Kids.  The real reason for celebrating Christmas.  And the reason I’m writing tonight.  This evening, I dedicated my time to a cup of tea and a pile of Dear Santa letters that I collected for Make-A-Wish as part of Macy’s Believe CampaignI’ve been collecting these letters from the Macy’s near my office since early November and since then I’ve been looking forward to spending a night going through them.  With my plane ride back to Pittsburgh on Wednesday morning and Christmas a few days away (Seriously?), I reasoned that tonight had to be the night to get my Dear Santa reading on.  Unless I wanted to drag them back to Pittsburgh with me, tonight is the only night since I need to make sure these get to the North Pole in time.

So what are kids these days asking Santa for?  A majority of the letters requested the typical gifts of dolls, clothes, puppies, video games- as well as the occasional winning lottery ticket.  However, I found myself touched by several untraditional letters that asked for those items that money cannot buy:

“To be Happy.”     “A Cure for Cancer.”     “I wish you give me a Scholarship when I’m Going to College someday.”     “What I want for Christmas is number 1) My Family to be Happy Healthy in their lives.”     “Hope.”     “I want to find friends.”     “Please bring me a New Daddy.”     “I want No more sick babies.”     “My Family to be Drug-Free.”     “I wish to have My Brother Back.  He as killed in Iraq.”     “I want World Peace and Great Health!”     “Make My Children Happy.”     “I want Kids who have Nothing to have Toys this year.”     “Please bring my Boyfriend Back from Afghanistan and His Younger Brother too.”     “No more Hatred among races…and Love Love Love.”

So many Dear Santa letters were about written about L.O.V.E.– including a few that  requested specific boyfriend qualities:

“I would really like a nice boyfriend that actually likes me.”

“I want a really hot boyfriend with long hair.”

“I would love a good boyfriend.” 

“I would really like a boyfriend someone sweet and hot.”

“I want my sister to find a rich, handsome, and successful husband.”

Several thoughts ran through my mind as I read these letters, which probably doesn’t surprise any of you who know that I tend to think a lot…maybe too much.  The first is my wish that I could grant some, if not all, of these Dear Santa letters- especially the ones that selflessly asked to bring happiness into the lives of others.  And secondly, I Wish I Could Believe Like A Child Again. 

Believe in Santa.  Believe in the Christmas Spirit.  Believe that World Peace is Possible.  Believe in Love as Optimistically as a Child. 

Being surrounded by kids, I have to say that I am believing more than I have in a while, especially in the latter.  As our childhood days sink further and further into our past memories, our definition of love loses the innocence and fantasy that we once only knew.  But if we believe, really let ourselves believe, maybe we can find the love we once knew.

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