Love and belief

Dec 23, 2012 By Steven R. Peck

A long-ago Santa letter still sings

What does the community newspaper editorial have to add to the cup of Christmas cheer? Consider a simple letter from a child.

Each year we recall the letter, now at least 20 years past. It stood out from that year's mountain of Santa letters as if it were written on glowing paper. Once read, it was never forgotten.

It began with a greeting and a short list of gifts the writer hoped for. Then, her closing words:

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

Read it again. Then consider its meaning in your own life.

Each of us has particular, specific, private memories of Christmas and the holiday season. They are tied up in family, in childhood, in hope and anticipation, in wonder and awe, in churches and school rooms, in fireplaces, snow outside and warm coats. In mittens and music, sleds and skates, boxes and bows.

And, if we are fortunate, in love and belief.

But in all those specifics that we keep in our memories, different from those held by others, we look for common ground and the reassurance it provides.

And there is common ground in a little girl's message from many years ago.

On a list of good things to say to a cherished person, this would rank right up there. And on a list of things we all might wish could be said -- and thought -- about us, this one would be hard to beat.

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

Is there someone in your life you could say it to? Someone who would want to hear it from you? Someone who would need to hear it? Someone who needs to remember it forever?

Then don't hold back. And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

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