Flash Fiction: A Letter From Santa

Dear children,

It may come as a surprise to your parents to hear from me, because that means I actually exist.  You’ve known all along that I do, but they have lost the faith.

However, I am writing to you to tell you that this year, none of you will receive any presents.  Why? Well, I suppose I should give you some explanation.

You see, for many years after I discovered that I was not going to die (and I still don’t really know the reasons why), I wanted to use my immortality to continue to spread love, good cheer, and a remembrance of the Great Gifter to people everywhere by handing out presents on that most holy of nights.  But something happened.  Somewhere along the way, people got it into their heads that your behavior beforehand somehow affected how many presents you receive.

Whoever came up with so ridiculous a notion?

After all, if it really had anything to do with weighing your good deeds against your bad, none of you would ever have gotten any presents at all!  All this business about me making lists and checking them twice and naughty and nice and stockings full of coal… Faugh!  What a load of drivel.  I give gifts because it is my joy to give gifts and see smiles, and because I want to point you to the Great Gifter!  I want to remind you of the greatest gift ever given on that most holy of nights.  No question that no one deserved that gift!  Yet he gave it anyway.  I could not be so presumptuous as to demand goodness before give you gifts.

But you have turned this holiday from an opportunity to be reminded of Him into a holiday to look inward, to examine your actions, your selfish desires, and your own perceived sense of self worth.  You should be examining His actions on your behalf!  His desires for your life!  The value of your life based on what He did for you!

So, since you want it to be about whether or not you deserve it, this year, you will not be getting anything.  Maybe not next year either.  Please understand, I do this out of love.  I want you to see how little you deserve any good things, so that perhaps you will see yourself before Him more clearly.  Maybe in a few years, when you realize that your works earn you nothing, maybe then I’ll start giving again, just to prove to you that it really is undeserved.

But before I end this missive, I want to emphasize one more point:  This holiday isn’t really about the presents anyway.  And it isn’t even about family, and cookies, and Christmas carols and friendly people, though all those things are good.  It really is all about one thing – a little baby who was born to take away all the bad things you’ve done, and to give you all the good you could ever imagine and more.  You see, it really is all about Him.  And He was so much more than a baby, too.  He was – He is – the source of all goodness, the maker of all life, and the giver of all good gifts.  He is the Lord.  For me, this season has always been about Him.  Why, I even punched a man right in the nose once for preaching that He wasn’t really who He said he was.  Maybe not my finest moment, but I was angry…

The point is, even if I stop giving you gifts, He never will.  His goodness surpasses even mine.  So maybe this year, when you find no presents under the tree, no stockings filled with any goodies, no trinkets by the fire, look to Him. Let His story fill you instead.  Remember His goodness.

Oh, what the hey… I’m caught up in it now!  Forget it!  I’ll be giving you gifts after all!  I can’t hold back!  Talking about Him always puts me in this kind of mood!  Ho ho ho!  Here I come, Merry Christmas, and may you know Him better!

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4 responses to “Flash Fiction: A Letter From Santa

  1. I like this — it points to Jesus and brings St. Nick and Santa Claus together in a neat way. Up until the last paragraph… I get why it’s there, but it seems to undermine the entire concept to me.

    Also, very clever including the punching incident! Again, I like it — but can we have a link for those of us who want to know more? 🙂

    • Here was my thinking with the last paragraph – He’s frustrated because of what Christmas has become, and doesn’t like the materialism, works righteousness, and so on, so he’s determined to “teach a lesson”…. but then he starts talking about Jesus, and he can’t help himself. His desire to teach a lesson is overcome by his desire to pour forth with generosity in response to his Savior.

      As for a link, here’s one that has the story: http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/my-kind-of-santa/ Although, I had heard it was during a church service, not during a council. So, go figure. Legends being what they are and all…

      • I’ll add that now, looking at it after your comment, I can see how it would spoil the point… He’s trying to redirect the thinking, and yet, he goes and undermines that by doing exactly what he said he wouldn’t…. Oh well.

      • I think I got your reasoning of the last paragraph — the last line says as much. It’s just difficult for me, I guess — it’s like preaching the Law so they get it, and then giving Gospel before the Law sinks in… maybe I’m being too theological with this.

        Thanks for the link!

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