I like when fiction blends with reality. Feng often claims that I have a wild imagination and I love to tell stories. These days, I mostly focus on “inspired from true events” stories because life is interesting enough to my adult eyes, but I occasionally have long senseless conversations with Mark.
Did you know that his stuffed rabbit (the very one I nicknamed “civet,” French speakers will get the joke…) was very nice today? Doggy, on the other hand, keeps on bugging me while I was working, I report to Mark. So we punish doggy. Rabbit gets to play with cars because he was nice. Meanwhile, outside, there is a plane flying so high it will probably reach the moon. Yes, Mark, you can look out the window, let’s wash your bananas first. What? Oh, these are not bananas, these are your hands? My bad.
I swear the house is drug-free. Thanks for asking, though.
This brings me to the whole Santa thing. I can’t remember really believing in Santa Claus—I was a practical kid, and the entire story sounded fishy from a logistical perspective. But I liked to believe and my parents played the part very well. It made December a fun month and it was comforting to follow the same traditions year after year.
Now, as the designated Westerner in our family, I’m in charge of Christmas. Bit of a tall order if you ask me. Where do I start? How? Oh, the pressure!
When I announced I was going to do the Santa letter with Mark, instead of praising my thoughtful mothering skills, Feng shrugged. “What does he understand about Christmas?”
“We need a letter,” I insisted. “I don’t want to buy presents just because Santa didn’t get the order.”
“Look, I have no idea how to explain Christmas,” I added. “And frankly, I don’t think we need to. It just is. It’s cold, there are lights everywhere, Mark knows who Santa is—what Santa does and how he does it is irrelevant at this stage. If he wants to know, he will ask. Otherwise, he will fill in the blanks by himself. It’s like for his birthday. Does he understand the concept of being born, of a year passing by? I don’t think so. But he really enjoyed being the king for a day.”
The world is a very complex place. Feelings, traditions, rules, social obligations… How many of us know the true meaning of every bank holiday, the origin of every custom? I don’t. I just enjoy the day off and learn more about it if I feel like it. We are not religious but we are celebrating Christmas because most people here do. If we were living elsewhere, I would have no problem celebrating Hanukah, Eid of the Winter Solstice. We are mere humans, we crave rituals, cheer, and bonding events.
Kids learn from us, from their environment. They can be extremely literal but also strangely perceptive. They question small details but accept the big story.
So grabbed my best fountain pen and I wrote a Christmas letter, on behalf of Mark. He added three stickers (because he is three—see, very logic) and traced the outline of his hand onto the paper. Then we folded the letter, put it in the envelope, sealed it and added a stamp.
Because Santa lives close to Canada in the North Pole, thousands of volunteers from the Canada Post Santa Letter-writing Program handle his 1.5 million letters. He has the coolest postal address too:
North Pole H0H 0H0