My father was born on Christmas Day, so it was fitting that his favorite holiday was Christmas. Every year he would begin the season, at Thanksgiving, by playing Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole's holiday albums. I remember coming down seeing him dancing in the living room, by himself mind you, and singing loudly. My father understood that Christmas time was a special time of year - it was a time of magic, fun, and reverence. He encouraged us to believe in the unbelievable- that there really was a Santa and that many years ago a Savior was born.
I remember one Christmas sneaking down the stairs because I believed I had heard Santa. I peeked around the corner to see my father sitting by the fireside, Christmas tree lights illuminating his face, drinking hot chocolate. He then turned around and said, "Why don't you come here and wait on Santa with me." I jumped into his lap and snuggled deep; comforted by the thought that my father believed in Santa too. I never saw Santa that night, due to the fact that I fell asleep; but in the morning there was a letter addressed to me from Santa. It said, "Sorry I missed you little one. I kissed you on the cheek. Merry Christmas, Your Santa"From then on I never forgot to write Santa a letter, and every year he would write me back. The last letter I ever wrote and will ever receive was December 25th of 2010. At the time, I took the words for granted, but now they hold more meaning, because in his own quiet way my Dad had given me a ageless Christmas present for the soul. These are the words he wrote...
The Ringing in your hearts will never cease as long as there is believing - in love, in goodness, in gentleness, in kindness, in Christ. No light can ever go dim, nor ever cease, but only brighten with Christmas in our hearts. The lights and bells of Christmastime will always remind us to hold fast to these truths. My joy is knowing you have chosen well for all Christmas'.
Merry Christmas, Your Santa
I still desperately miss my father and there will always be tears - how can there not be when you love deeply? But I can now say, that Christmas is no longer dreaded by my heart. Instead I have found that every Christmas my joy grows. It brigthens the corners of my heart, restoring my faith, and it is there that I find my father once again. It is there that God grants me peace...
Merry Christmas, Dad...thank you for teaching me