Yes kid, there is a Santa Claus
Print newspapers are such an important part of the framework of communities all over the world, and that fact is evident in the story of a little recent Christmas magic right here in Calhoun, Georgia.
A lot of people might not realize that unaddressed letters to Santa Claus sometimes end up at their local newspaper office. Our post office box at the Calhoun Times is no stranger to letters sent to the big guy at the North Pole.
In early December, one of those Santa letters landed on my desk, so I opened it to see what message I needed to relay to the jolly old elf, since I’d be seeing him in person several times before Christmas.
This particular letter really caught my eye, and I couldn’t put it down.
The letter came in from a young boy with one simple request:
“Dear Santa, can you bring a elf. I haven’t been bad this year, please. I want an Elf.”
Included was a wonderful drawing of Santa holding stockings with an elf right beside him.
I kept the letter in my hand for a while ... reading the line “I haven’t been bad this year” over and over again.
Here’s this kid and he’s not asking for much. How would he feel if he really had been good — or even if he’d just been kind of good — and he made a plea directly to Santa, and then it didn’t happen?
My girls have an elf and, though it’s annoying for us as parents, it brings them so much joy.
Not knowing anything about the young man besides his name and address, I directed my journalism research skills at tracking him down. But since the case involved Christmas magic, I had to be careful.
Starting with a text to a teacher, I simply sent a picture of the letter, name and address via text and asked “do you know this kid?” It was a shot in the dark as to which local elementary school he might attend, and even the age was just speculation.
Turns out, the kid’s good luck continued and we’d hit on not only the correct school, but the correct grade level. It wasn’t long before what started with the extra effort of a Calhoun postal employee was now a mission of a local school teacher and office staff.
It didn’t end there, however. The kid had been found, but there was very short notice on finding an elf, and all the local shelves were empty. Yes .. there were no elves on the shelves. But magic has a way of overcoming reality.
A social media post was very quickly answered by a whole bunch of wonderful local people who offered up their own unused elves — and then the perfect elf was picked up by someone while out of town and she
wouldn’t accept a dime for her troubles.
One teacher picked the elf up, it got wrapped, sent to the school and the boy’s teacher made sure it was at the front office waiting for him — direct from the North Pole.
There’s no magic like Christmas magic, and seeing a community come together to keep that spirit alive for a kid should make us all proud to live here.
It shouldn’t be surprising, especially for anyone who knows the true meaning of Christmas, to see God’s love shared through kindness and selfless example in the teamwork of neighbors.
So next time you have a chance to go one extra step, take one extra moment, or spend one extra dollar to make someone’s day ... consider going for it.
We don’t know what will come of this kid’s life, but we do know that he was excited and smiling when he was called to the office to get his elf. And we do know that he’s our neighbor and partially our responsibility to help through this life.
Merry Christmas kid ... and if you read this one day — always having wondered where that gift really came from — know that it really was Christmas magic. Through all of us ... yes, there really is a Santa Claus.