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Love and belief

Dec 22, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck

A child's Christmas letter from long ago has enduring value

From the giant haystack of letters to Santa Claus came a cherished needle one year long ago.

It has remained a sparkling holiday memory, one we share around this time of year as an annual reminder of the spirit of the season and, if we are lucky, the ties that can bind us as human beings.

The writer was a girl from Dubois. Like all of us sometimes, she seemed to be nagged by doubt and uncertainty. Which of us can't identify those feelings?

After requesting a few gifts from Santa in the usual way, she added one more line:

"I love you, and I want you to know that I believe

in you."

The tiny author's name is long forgotten. Who knows what she looked like, what she did for fun, how well she did in school.

We can't be sure what motivated this child, crayon in hand, to write those words in exactly that way.

But she did write them, and we remember them every Christmas.

More importantly, we ought to remember them all the time. No matter our churches, our names, our histories, our occupations and our bank accounts, there is common ground in this girl's message.

If each of us can find a person who feels that way about us, then our lives will have a fullness not achievable through any box with a bow.

If each of us can find someone to feel that way about, then we deliver a gift no store could stock, no matter how big the discount.

In times of doubt and downturn, of wobbles and weakness, of setback and dissatisfaction, our human foundations can sustain us. Affection and faith in another person, and from that person in us, can be a cornerstone.

Coming on Tuesday is our big Christmas Greetings edition, filled with this year's harvest of Santa letters, Christmas art, seasonal messages from local businesses, and news and features of our community at Christmas time. We'll be closed on Dec. 25, with no paper that day.

"I love you, and I want you to know that I believe

in you."

Find a worthy recipient for your love and tour faith. Find someone to say it to. Find a reason to affirm it and a reason to live it.

And Merry Christmas.

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