When I was a little girl,
Every Christmas Eve,
I used to dream of sugar flurries
In a candy-cane wilderness
That made the world around me glitter,
Hot chocolate sweetening the air,
The chugging and puffing of little trains
From a little cookie cottage in the distance,
Magical lights sparkling like fireflies from the windows,
And a stout man in red with a cherry nose and a jolly smile,
Walking beside me through the snow and opening
A gingerbread door to a place filled with joy
No child could describe.
I used to dream that I met Santa Claus.
What a dream that was!
And then I’d wake up,
Dreams melting away
The next morning,
Finding myself shivering
In the dark and
I used to write letters to Santa every year,
Asking him to let me see him for one night.
But over time, I stopped waiting for dreams
To come true, waiting for fantasies
To answer back.
And then, one autumn night,
My doubts of meeting Santa melted away
Before he melted away, too,
And I grew up.
I decided to write one more letter to him,
But this time, addressing him in words
Only grown-ups would understand:
Dear Mr. Claus,
I sincerely apologize
Should this letter come to you too late.
In that case, I pray you forgive me.
I understand that you may not know me well:
We never spoke to each other much,
And we never had a formal introduction.
I knew your name from other people
And that we went to the same church every week.
I wish I knew you better.
I do know
That my mother told me
About the jolly man
With the snowy beard,
The round tummy,
The warm smile,
Who greeted her at the front door
On some days, I’d feel the Sun
In that smile, too;
And that my sister told me
About her teacher at church-school,
Who always knew how
To make a child laugh,
Who chuckled once when his son
Told his friends
That his father
Was Santa Claus;
And that my father told me
About a close friend
At the church’s fraternity,
Who had a heart
Like Saint Nick’s,
A brother he never had;
And that, one autumn night,
The priest told everyone
That choirs of angels in Heaven were singing
That Santa Claus was coming to town.
Came to you
I pray you
I didn’t realize my childhood dream
Came true every Sunday.
I wish I knew you better,
But as much as I can wish,
I can’t be a child again.
Everyone here misses you.
But I’m glad
You made it home
I know you’ve given so much already.
You can’t give me this:
Only He can.
But may you please ask Him
To give me one wish?
I promise to be good for both of you!
It’s a different wish—
But the same wish
I’ll ask for every Christmas Eve
From now on:
That I’ll dream
Of sugar flurries
And wake up
The next morning,
Not lying in bed,
In a winter