Have you ever written a letter to Santa and sent it to the North Pole? I don't think I ever did. Maybe at Higbee's when we visited Santa one time, you needed to write something. My 6-year-old this year asked if she could write a letter to Santa. Correction: She didn't ask, she declared she was doing it. And now that she has just learned how to write, she can accomplish this.
One letter was written to Santa, the envelope was addressed, and the whole shebang was sent with a real U.S.P.S. stamp to give the post office the extra Christmas cash. The next day, she checked the mailbox, and the letter was indeed gone. Unlike the Elf on the Shelf, it wasn't anything I had anything to do with. The letter had been whisked away to the North Pole. The job was done.
Until December's Second Saturday, when we were out and about. My daughter and I hit two pop-up markets on the east end of town, then shopped our way up Main Street at Utensil, Echo, and Style Storehouse (where we saw carolers!). We stopped into Rite Aid to contemplate Big Gigantic Bears, and made it allllll the way to the new boutique, Bellus on Main, to try on their amazing boot selection. Hunger overcame me, so we needed to head straight to Dogwood for an emergency burger. But not before stopping by our own mailbox to check on an Elf on the Shelf that appeared there. Lo and behold, we also found a mystery letter, decorated in stickers and lollipops! I assumed it came with the Elf, which had been offloaded by a friend whose child had condemned it to live in her car's glove compartment.
Ho ho ho, this letter was not from my friend.
It was from Santa! The note thanked my daughter for sending him her Christmas list. He told her that he checked it, saw that she was on his Nice List, and would be paying a visit, but only if she did not peek. The note was pre-typed on Santa stationery, with her name hand-written in purple marker. The outside of the envelope was decorated with multicolored markers, with glitter stickers and a super-special gingerbread lollipop that - at her own insistence - has been stored in a special place by my daughter until Christmas.
None of us had ever seen a letter from Santa, and we were all shocked, extremely excited, and very warmed to the heart to live in Beacon.
The only clue to the letter's origin - not that one needed a clue, because it was signed "Santa" - was the return address and stamp. Of which there were none, except for the logo of the United States Postal Service, and a pre-paid postage placement. Well, heck. There are some elves out there!
Speaking of elves, I saw one in Accuprint the other day when I was shipping gifts. He'd asked me, while he waited to take away my packages and a bunch of others: "Did your daughter get the letter I brought?" YES, I said. According to this elf, he'd delivered my daughter's letter and others to a woman in the post office. Every year, she answers children's Christmas letters to Santa. No one knows why she does it, he told me. And it's not her official job to do so. She just does. Rainbow markers, glitter stickers and all. Leaving the rest of us speechless.
Making magic happen.