GUIZERIX: Keep Christmas magic alive for the children

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Over the weekend, The Post received a batch of letters from Santa’s helpers, and I and dedicated members of our team went to work transcribing them, along with our special volunteers who’d been hard at work at Warren Central High School.

The letters, which will print in our Christmas Eve edition so Santa Claus can snag those last gift requests before he leaves the North Pole, were pretty much true to the norm. There were some that made me laugh, like the boy that asked for “A lot of Nerf gun bullets, and when I say a lot I mean 1,000,” or the little girl who wanted “my mom to find a good man to settle down with, and a baby brother.” And we can’t forget the 8-year-old who asked Santa for skincare — I guess it’s never too soon to start anti-aging.

This year, it seems the hottest items are the PlayStation 5, iPhones, Jordans sneakers and everything Roblox (and yes, I had to Google what that was).

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However, this year also saw a larger than usual number of children asking Santa for immaterial things. Some letters broke my heart, along with the hearts of Santa’s helpers.

One child asked Santa to bring her daddy home for Christmas. Another asked him for continued good health for her terminally ill grandmother. One simply wanted a puppy — specifically, a stray he’d seen in the neighborhood that looked cold.

They asked Santa to bring them happiness, to help their mommies make more money so they wouldn’t have to work so hard and could play with them. They asked Santa to keep their loved ones serving our country safe from harm. One little boy even listed gifts he wanted Santa to bring for everyone in his family except for himself.

It was hard to read these tear-jerking letters, and it hurt my heart to be reminded that not every child in our community has the privilege of retaining their innocence when it comes to worldly worries.

I thought back on my own childhood when I knew I could count on piles of presents around the tree, two loving parents who were an active presence in my life and, most of all, nothing to stress about.

The old saying goes, “Everyone’s a child at Christmas.” And while that’s true, it’s a hard pill to swallow when the actual children — ones who should be worried about the games they’ll play at recess, what type of cereal they’re going to eat for breakfast in the morning or which color socks to wear to school — are forced to deal with grown-up problems.

It makes me want to shelter my own child even more, to hold her tight and protect her from the cruelty of the world. It also makes me want to preserve the magic of Christmas for as many children as possible, for as long as possible.

They might have to worry about big problems 364 other days of the year — but on Christmas, let’s let them be kids.