Argh, Squarespace ate my post. Let’s try this again.
We got three holiday seasons in which Santa did not come with a glut of presents. We had Christmas, yes, and presents, but the myth of The Man in the Red Suit did not color our choice of gifts and Seamus’ enjoyment of them. Then we sent Seamus to preschool with older kids, and by the second week of November “I want X for Christmas” pealed through our house. And our outings. And on our Thanksgiving trip to Portland.
“Seamus, put it on your list,” we started to say, “and we’ll write to Santa asking for everything you want AFTER Thanksgiving. One holiday at a time please.” Once we came home I brought out our copy of “It’s Christmas, David!” and introduced the concept of the letter and the list and being good/naughty, etc.
His school covers several December holidays (Chanukah, Christmas, presumably Kwanzaa), and organizes both a food drive and a toy drive. They’ll organize a walking field trip to the local firehouse to deliver all of the toys they gather at the end of next week (This is all done through Alameda FD’s version of Toys for Tots).
Seamus and I talked a bit about how we needed to be Santa’s helpers and bring in some toys for kids whom might not get any for Christmas, and food for families who may not have enough. Since Tuesday is our “chores and errands” day, we set off in the late morning to find some presents. I wanted to find two big kid gifts and two little kid gifts, none of which should require batteries. We hit paydirt at Toy Safari, where we found a detective kit, a pinhole camera kit, a small Duplo set before Seamus got too into the I-want groove. I made a mental note to pick up a picture book as Seamus pointed to things he was interested in, all of which I photographed for his letter to Santa. Then we went home and had lunch and quiet time.
In the afternoon, I pulled out my notepad and had Seamus pick out a marker to use as a pen. I asked him questions to encourage him to dictate the letter. When we got to his requests, he was…brief.
“I want a Beetle. No Lego train, no motorcycle. Just a Beetle.”
”(????) Are you sure? It’s okay to ask for other things. Santa may not get you everything on the list, but he’ll get you some of it.”
“No, only a Beetle.”
His letter read:
My name is Seamus, and I am three years old. My mama is helping me write this letter. I am a good boy who tries to listen.
Please bring me:
- A Beetle car (it was at this point he told me that was it)
I used to want a Duplo train and a motorcycle, but I changed my mind.
He signed it with a scrawl, and I sealed it in an envelope addressed to the North Pole. We’ll mail it tomorrow. But right now this Santa’s Helper needs to get some dishes done before heading back to the toy store.