Lifted up by a child

Published 9:50 pm Friday, December 23, 2011

For adults, it sometimes can be easy to become disenchanted with the Christmas season.

Crime increases. The season is overly commercialized and seemingly becoming more so every year. People are greedy. Many children think the season is simply about getting gifts for themselves. And we know the truth about Santa.

Certainly, there are many reasons not to be cynical. The holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, whose birth about 2,000 years ago provided a path to salvation for all who would believe in Him. Even without the religious aspect, the season has come to mean family, friends, togetherness and the joy of gift giving for many people.

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But one of the things many adults might remain cynical about is the way children feel about the holiday. Many times, children can be perceived as greedy and concerned only about what they will get for Christmas.

But as I typed the letters to Santa written by local schoolchildren that you will find in this edition, I learned that isn’t always true.

Sure, there were children who asked for high-priced electronics.

But there were many who asked for far simpler things that, unfortunately, are much harder to come by.

“I love giving out presents to my family and friends,” one little girl named Maha wrote. “This year, I wish I could spend more time with my family, because I want to learn from them.”

“What I really want is respect and bravenes[s],” wrote another child named Fawn. “I want to make a change.”

One girl named Alexis said she wanted only one thing for Christmas — for her friend Teagan to get an American Girl doll. The letter immediately following Alexis’ was Teagan’s, who asked for — you guessed it — an American Girl doll.

Another girl named Kelly simply wanted her cat to come home. Kennedy wished that she “could help old people get homes.” Still others wanted peace on earth or a cure for whatever illness is plaguing a mother or father.

It was quite an experience to read these letters and see just how thoughtful and generous children as young as 5 can be. It definitely cured my wintertime blues when I typed the letters a couple weeks ago. I encourage you to flip through the letters, circle your favorites, and come back to them whenever you need a little pick-me-up during the holiday season.