Today Baby wanted to write a letter to Santa to tell him what gift she’d like to get for Christmas.
The address was sketchy, but Baby was confident that if she stated that the letter was to be delivered at the North Pole, the postal services would know what to do.
Anyway, I was slightly annoyed because I’m not comfortable promoting the Santa/Father Christmas myth.
Like most Black SA kids of my generation and before, I grew up knowing full well that my Christmas clothes, which parents traditionally buy as gifts for the season, were from my parents.
Going shopping with your parents, trying on fancy outfits, choosing the three outfits you’d wear on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and the subsequent Sundays for the following year, was part of the magic.
The unlucky kids were the ones who were measured with pieces of string, and their outfits bought in absentia.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to help you write the letter to Santa?”
“I can write the letter, and it’s a secret between him and me,” Baby said.
Now how was I going to find out what she wanted for Christmas? I was tempted to outright tell her that Santa didn’t exist but there’s this unwritten rule that parents are not allowed to disillusion kids when it comes to fairytale characters. And when said parent is a writer of children’s stories, it’s even more awkward.
Thankfully, another option occurred to me.
“Why don’t you email Santa,” I said. “Your request will get there quicker.”
I thought the email would bounce or something and I’d still have a copy of her letter in my sent files. But someone registered the northpole domain and took up the email@example.com address.
Ho! Ho! Ho! from the North Pole!!! The autoresponse letter said.
If you'd like to send me a letter(and your wish list) please visit my Mailroom at: http://www.northpole.com/Mailroom/
So Baby spent hours on the website exploring, writing to Santa, creating a personalized version of “ A North Pole Christmas Party” and looking at a selection of possible Christmas gifts.
“Board game or laptop?” I heard her mumble.
Neither, I thought. I can’t afford a new laptop and we have more than enough board games in hard copy and on the home PC.