By Stephen Hawboldt
It has been many years since I have written a letter to you. I would have written before but everyone told me that you don’t take letters from big people even if we are still kids at heart. Since these grownups seem to have made a mess of things, maybe it is time for the small and big kids to speak up.
I want to thank you for the wonderful toys you have left beside my stocking over the years. I have tried to be a good boy but sometimes have been led astray by grownups.
This year I really don’t want much for me. Underwear and socks always seem to be in short supply! Of course, really good dark chocolate and candied ginger is always appreciated. The simple pleasures of family and friends are the greatest gifts.
Santa, I must say that I was really surprised with that someone stole more than $1,200 in gifts that a young mother had bought for her son. Unfortunately, it was not the theft that caught my attention - there are always mean and greedy people who like to hurt others. I was flabbergasted that a mother would feel the necessity to spend that much money on her son. I’d like to think that they were mostly useful things, like a warm jacket, rather than silly toys that will be cast aside in a few weeks.
One of the things that I have trouble understanding is why does a wealthy country like Canada needs food banks. We have valuable farm land growing up in bushes while people are hungry. Employers can’t find staff and people who want to work can’t find a job. A few people are very rich while the vast majority remain poor no matter how hard they work. Lower income citizens pay more taxes than most wealthy people. Santa, can you fix our economic system?
You must be so frightened these days. With the rapid rise in temperatures, especially near the North Pole, you must be wondering what you and the elves will do in a few years. If only our leaders could understand that unless we do something as a human race to address climate change, Santa Clause will not have an icy North Pole to call home. What shall we do?
The really sad part, Santa, is that these leaders all have children and grandchildren. They don’t seem to understand that their inaction is robbing their children of the magic of Christmas morning and finding stocking that you have stuffed with toys that your elves have so carefully made. How can there be a Santa Clause without a cold North Pole?
Santa I find it very upsetting that most of the founding people of North America are being forced to shiver in the dark. I don’t pretend to understand the many problems but I do know that the systemic racism that our white leaders have shown First Nations for more than 400 years is part of the problem. Maybe, you could leave some wisdom for white and First Nation leaders so that they could work cooperatively to give our founding people the dignity they deserve. Will wisdom fit in a stocking?
There is so much more that I would like to talk to you about but I know you are very busy getting everything set for your big trip. My stocking is the one on the right side of the fireplace.
PS: Good thing Rudolph has a red nose because the warmer North Pole likely means more foggy Christmas Eves.
Comments are always welcome and can be addressed to Stephen.Hawboldt@eastlink.ca