A Letter From Santa Claus
Transcribed by Marc Kohler
To Parents and Adults Who Care for Children:
Christmas Time is here, and I want your children to have a wonderful time. So, here are a few things I want you adults to know before you bring your children to see me.
First, you must understand that children who are afraid of me think that I am the most powerful figure in their world. I am responsible for bringing the presents! Some people have claimed that I judge children–bringing coal to “bad” children, that I decide who is “naughty” or “nice”. Let me assure you, and tell your children, that nothing could be further from the truth! I have never given any child a lump of coal. And for those children who I miss, it was not their fault. It’s just that sometimes, I make mistakes. Remember that Nice Children are fine, and Naughty Children pall troubled children—they are acting out of anger or hurt—all children are in their hearts, Good Children.
Also, I do not watch children all of the time. This whole idea is barbaric and abusive. If children are told that they have no privacy, then I am being used to undermine their very sense of worth. One little girl asked me, “Are you God?” The answer is definitely, NO!
So, it is YOUR job to help your children. Do not tell them not to be afraid. This will just make it harder for them, because they will still be afraid of me while at the same time wanting to do what you have ordered them to do. You must understand that their fear is based on the power within them as people, and they “project” this power onto me. So, some children, who are most afraid, may also be very creative. What can you do? There are four zones through which a child goes in coming to see me, and, at each stage, there are things you can do to help to allay their fears.
1. YELLOW ZONE: This is when you are far away from me—at home or in the car on the way to visit me. Talk about me as someone you know. Sit down, and have the child practice sitting on your lap, and telling you what they want for Christmas. Laugh a lot. Have a good time. Read A Visit from Saint Nicholas while they are sitting there or another favorite book. Bring the book with you when you come to visit me. There is nothing I like better than reading aloud to relax a scared child. Help them write a letter to me with some interesting stories as well as a list of what they want for Christmas. Know the letter well enough to help me understand the writing.
2. BLUE ZONE: This is when you are in the same building with me. Remind the child that they are going to see me. Remember to tell them that I do not decide who is naughty or nice. I just want to hear about what they want for Christmas. See if you can get a glimpse of me, so they will know exactly where they are going and what to expect. You know, some of my friends come and practice sitting in my chair while I am out feeding my reindeer.
3. GREEN ZONE: This is the zone while in line. If the line is long, be aware that your child may become fidgety, and this is not just because they are in a line. They are in a line to SEE me! It is during this time that you will notice certain changes. Your child will become quieter the closer they come to me. They will stare apprehensively in my direction. Take time to discuss me one more time. Look at the book you have brought from home that they will show me. Read the letter that you have written to me aloud if you are bringing one.
4. RED ZONE: This is the scariest area for a child. This is the area from the end of the line to my Chair. It is in these few steps that happy, smiling children will become terrified, and their heart rates will double. By the time they reach me, they are ready to bolt, and many do. The brave ones who make it will sit on my lap as if they are made out of cardboard, barely able to utter even a few syllables. I will do my best to allay their fears, but they are now where they have wanted to be but never wanted to be at the same time. If they run away in tears, comfort them, and tell them they can try again when they are ready.
One last note, so you can understand me. I am here to give, and giving is the most important thing I or anyone can do. Sometimes, I cannot give you exactly what you want, but in many ways I will give you what you need. The presents are just symbols of what you truly need, and that is one thing upon which I am an expert. You– parents, children, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and friends NEED love, caring, respect, safety, and kindness. That is what you need, and that is why we celebrate this holiday. The presents that I give to you, and the presents you exchange are just tiny symbols of these much more important gifts, gifts that we must give to each other EVERY day of the year, because…
Love is the meaning of Christmas!
Santa Claus, Candy Cane Lane, The North Pole
Transcribed by Marc W. Kohler
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