The Santa Letters
Twenty-Fifteen was the first Christmas that the Mullett household did not have to keep up the Santa charade. Our eleven-year-old Milca was the last believer of our seven children to lose faith. Despite my good intentions and best efforts, I was the one to let her down.
It started the year before. At ten years old, we could tell that Milca was starting to have doubts about the man in the red suit. I intercepted a letter that she sent to the North Pole. I knew that I needed to take immediate and drastic action if I was going to keep her faith alive. The letter expressed her doubts and requested a blood sample which she could use for a DNA test to determine once and for all if Santa was real. The mailman delivered Santa’s response several weeks later. In the letter, St. Nick explained how he was afraid of needles, but was sending a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Clause along with fingerprints which would hopefully be enough proof. I was happy that the Wal Mart photo center printed pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Clause that were obviously stock photos from Google Images.
When I intercepted the second letter to Santa that year, I was feeling pretty proud of myself. My return letter had obviously averted her doubts. In her second letter, she added a picture of herself along with a long list of items she wanted Santa to deliver. Not only did her faith in Santa return, but she even seemed to believe in flying reindeer as she had some flattering comments and questions about Rudolf.
The mailman soon delivered a response to Milca’s second letter. This time, however, Rudolf wrote as Santa was getting very busy, and just didn’t have the time to write. Cheerfully, Milca accepted the letter which Rudolph signed with a hoof print. Milca didn’t question the how thumbless reindeer can hold an ink pen or type on a keyboard. Milca sent several more letters to the North Pole that season. I was especially happy when I read the thank you cards sent to Santa and all of the reindeer after Christmas. Not only was Milca still a believer, but she was grateful as well.
I knew the letters couldn’t be kept at home where Milca may find them, so I tucked them away safely in a desk drawer at my office. Months passed and I forgot all about the Christmas correspondence. It was now April and time for American Electric Power’s annual “Take your daughter to work day.” I imagine even the slowest of you readers can see the disaster that is about to unfold.
We started the day by getting sugared up with donuts and hot chocolate. Milca went to several classes to learn how AEP turns old fossils into electricity. Then it was out to a downtown pizza joint for lunch. After lunch, we returned to the office. Milca didn’t have another class until late afternoon, and I had a meeting to attend, so I left her unsupervised in my cubical. We’ll spare the gory details, but when I returned from my meeting, I found Milca sitting in my chair holding all of her letters which were supposed to be in Santa’s desk at the North Pole. She had a very disappointed look on her face. I knew right away the mistake I had made, and that all future Christmases would be a little less magical. My last holdout had lost her faith in Santa, and it was all my fault.
Jesus’ disciples once asked him who will be greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. Jesus answered by showing them a little child. A little child who has blind faith and doesn’t question who he is or what his mission on Earth was. A humble, needy child who does not put their faith in himself. A child who has not been tainted by the unbelievers around them.
Mathew 18:4-6 Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone was hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.