Last week, the Chronicle staff were busy in their role as Santa's Helpers.
Each year, we collect hundreds of letters to Santa from children across our community. Our schools always participate. We thank our teachers for taking the time to share their student's work with us. And we're happy we can help pass those letters along to Santa at the North Pole.
The ongoing pandemic has led to some challenges in shipping, so we had a bit of an early deadline this year. But we were successful. The letters have been delivered to the North Pole and you can read about what our youngsters are hoping to find under their trees on Christmas morning in the Christmas Greetings section included in the Dec. 15 edition of the Chronicle.
This makes the 20th year I have typed Santa letters for this section. And it remains one of my favorite tasks each year.
You learn a lot about what kids are interested in. As someone who does not have children, it's good intel for shopping for the littles in my family.
And some of these letters are a hoot. Like the girl who wants Santa to bring her a baby sister. One of my all-time favorites is the boy who offered to trade his baby brother for a calf. You just never know what the kids will ask for.
Most of the kids say they've been nice this year. A few weren't sure which list they might end up on, so they included a few pleas to Santa to understand, they really did try to be good.
And Santa will leave Crossville well nourished, with so many kids promising to leave out milk and cookies for him and carrots for the reindeer.
Before we packaged up the letters for the long trip North, I decided I wanted to write my letter to Santa, too.
Thanks for everything you brought me last year. I really enjoyed the new comforter and I love, love, love the wool socks.
This year, there isn't really any "thing" that I need. My needs fall into the "other" category, so I haven't been able to find them at a local store or even through online shopping.
I need more time in a day. I know I say this every year, but I'll keep asking. Maybe one of these Christmases, I'll get a box of time I can open whenever I need just a few more hours in a day.
I need a good long visit with my sister, a getaway with my best friend, a big hug from my grandparents. There's so many friends and family I haven't been able to see in such a long time. I try to be safe when I'm out and about. I wear my mask and I wash my hands and I try to keep my distance. But I'm still out and about. It's part of the job description. And that makes me worry about what I could be taking with me when I visit loved ones.
I want COVID-19 to go away. I want businesses to be able to thrive again. I want our community to be able to come together again.
I know there's a vaccine approved, and a plan to roll it out to everyone. I also know I'm going to be toward the end of that list. And that's OK. But, with your logistics expertise and ability to get around the world to every home in just one night, maybe you could drop a few hints and suggestions off to the powers that be, just to help them have a smooth distribution process.
Mostly, I want peace and joy for everyone I know. So many are dealing with hardships, grief and uncertainty this season. Do what you can to ease their worry. I'll do what I can, as well, like supporting local businesses or giving to local organizations that help.
Thanks, Santa, and safe travels on Christmas Eve!