Haines, My Way: Those letters to Santa are worth reading


On Dec. 19, The Carthage Press will publish the annual letters to Santa.

What a joy, and what a blessing to the Carthage community to be able to capture a glimpse into the heart of its youth!

I have learned a lot from reading these letters.


Within the blunt, innocent and adorable lines of these letters are many sentiments including gratefulness, curiosity about Santa’s methods and way of life – exquisitely expressed even if they don’t know how to spell everything in their vocabulary yet. 

Some of the letters make me want to take the authors home with me. Occasionally Press readers will come across a letter that requests a clean home, a job for daddy or even food. Those are the letters that break your heart.

Kids are transparent anyway, so at Christmastime when you ask what they want – they’ll tell ya and it can shake your core. I know because they’ve shaken mine a time or two.

Many little lives in our community are impacted by organizations like Bright Futures, the Salvation Army, Crisis Center, and Feeding Inc., on River Street and there are people in our town who do God’s work in loving these kids all year round. There are all kinds of kind-hearted workers – nonprofit employees, citizens, retired folks, teachers, parents – but they all continuously carry the spirit of Christmas in their hearts no matter what the season. Their efforts improve families’ lives – even if it’s just for a moment – and this time of year the magic of Christmas becomes real.

It’s important to know that not all Christmases are merry and bright, and the annual letters to Santa remind us of certain realities that escape our minds in the busyness of the season. 

There’s no better time than now to seek out aspects of Christ like kindness and compassion, and putting those loving qualities into action. Anyone can read a letter, but it takes a Christ-follower to take what is felt from the letters and do something about it.

I hope this time of year, you donate to whatever charity you’re passionate about with a glad heart, serve others well and love your neighbor. I hope you find yourself humble in the face of the Lord’s birthday, and grateful for every blessing He’s given you – including an eternal home after this life is over.

I’m grateful for the Santa letters. 

Thank you to everyone who helps make this publication happen because I think they shine the joy and wonder of Christmas, and provide readers life perspective and inspire us all to show God’s love.

Rebecca Haines is a contributor to The Carthage Press.