Dear Santa: I know it’s been a while since I sent you a letter, maybe 40 years (or so), but I hope you’ll understand when you read the content below. I sincerely hope this letter finds you and Mrs. Claus well, and that all the reindeer are revved up for the big night.
I’ve been thinking a lot about good people lately. Perhaps it is the “Mandela Effect” rubbing off on me. So many people deserve reward this year that instead of asking for things, like the kids do, I’d like to beg your consideration. I’d like to nominate a few people for your Nice List. I’ve seen so much kindness this year, experienced such caring around me, that ensuring the kindest are rewarded seems the greatest gift for me.
First, I’d like you to consider adding to your “Nice List” anyone in a battle against cancer. I lost my step dad this year, and almost lost a dear friend. For those who are battling or caring for those battling, for those who research, walk, run, ride, dance or jump rope for a cure, my sincere thanks and Santa, they deserve to be on your Nice List. We continue to lose our brightest stars, our kindest friends, our strongest leaders and our most caring family members. Santa, please remember those in this battle and give them something nice this year.
Next, dear Santa, if you wouldn’t mind adding to your Nice List all the volunteers who run the events that make our community so much fun. We stagger out of our winter holes in time to see the Easter Parade, with the mini-cars, candies flying through the air (is there anything better?), all the while catching the sweet beat of the Malvern marching band. We see spectacular fireworks twice during the summer. We dance to jazz in the streets, we watch our dogs slobber, we celebrate the harvest, we deliver Christmas for those in need, and wrap it all up with your appearance on Kingston Road, dear Santa, once again, accompanied by the Malvern band. When do those kids sleep? If you could add all of those volunteers to your list, well that would be great. I’ll get you some extra paper so you can add the band.
I’d like you to also consider my neighbours, Santa. The funniest things can bring people together. I looked out my window one day last summer to see city workers unloading dozens of new trees. By the end of the day, we had a new mini-forest planted, standing wobbly like newborn giraffes. It was quite something to behold, but the real miracle occurred the first Saturday after the planting. All my neighbours were in the park, lugging every type of water container imaginable, ensuring each of those trees had gallons of water on their roots. My neighbours, the arbour army: please add their names to the Nice List.
And finally, Santa, the teachers. Every community is blessed with them and this year was particularly hard for some. Some were able to remember that schools are a platform for education and life experiences, not for politics. I saw teachers who found a way, and by that I mean they found a way to ensure that the kids’ experiences were not the victims of politics. It was inspiring to watch, as they stepped out of the rhetoric and creatively found ways to keep their word to their students. Their union leadership will forgive them as soon as they need their vote again; in the meantime, those teachers provided kids with spectacular experiences, the memories of which will last a lifetime for the students. Equally important, they stood as role models in front of these budding adults. Santa Claus, please put them on the Nice List too.
I think that’s all for me. Safe travels on the 25th – you’ll find the chocolate chip cookies, milk and carrots on the coffee table, as always.
PS: If you have room for a calendar on which I could write my column deadline dates for 2014, I (and my editor) would really appreciate it.