Boy, another strange year. For a while the weather couldn’t decide if it was summer of winter. Just like last year, one day I was in my Santa Shorts and the next day I had to put on long pants and a sweater.
The reindeer are a bit anxious every year, and especially when the weather is so changeable. But, no matter what the weather, they always come through and take Santa everywhere to visit the children of the world.
Speaking of children, I find that most people are children all of their lives. Now, that doesn’t mean that they don’t grow up, it just means that deep inside of everyone, no matter what their age, is the delight and wonder of a small child that they never lose. Even Santa, with all of the years he has lived, has that feeling inside of him. Often I spend hours and hours playing with the toys that the elves are making. It makes them laugh, but it sure makes Santa feel wonderful.
Each year Santa gets letters from people who are grown up asking for toys – not always this year’s toys, but sometimes toys they played with when they were young. I think just playing with them brings back wonderful childhood memories that have been stored way in the back of the brain, pushed there by the hustle and bustle of daily life and the stress that comes from simply growing up.
Well, Santa tries every year to fill as many of these requests as he can, but it is getting harder and harder each year to find some of these toys stored away in the back room, or to get the elves to dig out the plans for them and make more. Besides that, a few of them turned out to be a bit dangerous for little people and Santa decided that they shouldn’t be given away any more.
If you want to help Santa, look around at flea markets and in antique stores to see if you can find something that might bring back good childhood memories to someone you love, or pass on those memories to someone young.
How about Lincoln Logs. Don’t you remember how much fun they were to play with, building little brown cabins with green roofs? Or maybe Tinker Toys. You could build the strangest things with those, and they never looked the same twice. Of course, then there was the giant of construction toys: the Erector Set. Those came in many sizes from ones that would build just a few wagons and such to ones with which you could build an electric motor powered parachute drop, like the one they had at the World’s Fair in New York.
Then there were the card games, like Risk, Authors, Old Maid, Rook, UNO, Flinch, Mille Bornes, Touring, Cowboys and Indians, Rack-O, Make-a-Million and Pit. You could spend hours and hours having fun playing these games with friends or family until the cards actually wore out. Some of them are still available, but many are just a fond memory, hiding away in someone’s attic.
Now we shouldn’t forget the board and box games. Santa and Mrs. Claus still spend hours on winter nights, drinking cocoa with marshmallows, while playing some of these. Santa’s favorites are Chutes and Ladders and Operation, but Mrs. Claus really likes Scrabble. I don’t know where she gets those words she spells. Just between you and me, sometimes I think she makes them up (but don’t tell her I said that).
Of course, in Santa’s big game box there are other old games such as Sorry!, Clue, Battleship, The Game of Life, Stratego, Hungry, Hungry Hippos and the classic Monopoly, which has been around for almost as long as Santa (HO, HO, HO).
So, if you want to surprise someone on Christmas with a real memory-maker, see if you can’t find one of these to give them. And then get ready for some great family time, with cocoa and marshmallows, for sure.
Well, every time Santa sits down to write one of these letters, the elves seem to get into some kind of mischief that makes me have to check on them. Usually it is a large bang or crash, but this year it is way too quiet in the toy factory. I know they are up to something, I can just feel it. But, I better be careful. Sometimes they turn out all of the lights and when Santa walks in they all jump out at me.
Keep sending all those letters to Santa and, most of all, mind your manners, listen to your parents and teachers, be kind and, especially, take good care of each other. And, remember, Santa’s favorite cookie is Chocolate Chip.
Love,your good friend, Santa Claus