"Damn Santa." was a poor choice for a title for your thoughtful, perceptive, and warm-hearted article.
My legal name is Santa Claus, and I'm a full-time volunteer advocate for the 2 million children in the U.S. annually who are abused, neglected, exploited, abandoned, homeless, and institutionalized through no fault of their own. That's 1 out of 37 children in our great nation.
Primarily, due to the economy, as you noted, many of these vulnerable children in dire straits will not have adequate food or shelter this winter. If I were a child, I think I would understand if my parent(s) decided to make a donation, in my name and in lieu of a gift to me, to a local charity to help nourish or shelter a child less fortunate than myself.
When children approach me anywhere, as Santa, with a memorized list of presents they'd like to receive, I usually ask them to keep their list to themselves and ask them what they plan to give to someone else.
Those who say they don't have any money to get anything for anyone else appear to be relieved when I remind them that the greatest gift they can give is love -- even a big hug or a little hand-drawn card to let someone know they are loved.
As a Christian Monk (as St. Nicholas was many centuries ago), having taken a vow of poverty, I believe that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, not the crass, commercial, secular spectacle it has become in many places, and that the greatest gift one can give is love, not presents (or photos with Santa).
Thank you again for your thoughtful, perceptive, and warm-hearted article.
Love and Blessings to all, Santa Claus
In Print This Week:
Nov 28, 2013
vol XXIV issue 48
Bar Food Crawl
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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