Santa regularly receives notes and email from kids around the world. This year, he received one note that stood out from all of the rest:
I am 8 years old. Some of my best friends say there will be no Christmas this year. My Dad says, “If you see it on the news, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, will there be a 2020 Christmas?
Yes, Christina, there will be a Christmas this year. Your friends are wrong about this coming Christmas. And your dad is referring to the virus that is sweeping through the world and has resulted in suffering and hardship for so many. The virus is why you and your teachers have to wear masks at school. Or maybe you stay at home and take classes on the computer.
There still will be presents under the Christmas tree, candy canes, and sparkling stars high in the sky to guide Santa and his reindeer’s flight on Christmas Eve. It’s true that because of this virus there may be fewer presents than last year and maybe a smaller tree as some have lost their jobs and can’t afford to shop at stores as they did in the past. So it will be a different kind of Christmas. When I received your question, I turned to an old friend of mine to see what he thinks. You may already know him as The Grinch. He’s not such a bad fellow after all. The Grinch told me, “Santa, maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.”
Christina, I believe The Grinch is right. Christmas no more comes from a store than love comes out of a package. Think of some of your favorite gifts from Christmases past, gifts from your mom and dad or your grandparents. Many of these gifts eventually broke or wore out, or maybe you outgrew them and passed them along to a younger child. While the gifts may be gone, the love behind these gifts will never break or wear out. And you never outgrow love. I think that’s what The Grinch means when he describes Christmas as meaning “a little bit more.”
So this Christmas will be different, that’s for sure. Americans have been particularly harmed by the virus. As a result, many adults are exhausted, skeptical, and cynical and have stopped believing in what they can’t see. Maybe what they can’t see is Christmas or maybe they can’t see the end of the virus.
Too many adults have forgotten what children seem to instinctively understand. And right now, many can’t see the magic and enchantment of Christmas. But I can tell by your question that you can see that magic. Believe always in Christmas magic and believe always in what you can’t see. Let those adults who are tired and sad and have lost hope see that belief shining brightly in your eyes like an aura. Let them see your joy and happiness and the joy and happiness of millions of children like you throughout the world, and maybe they’ll remember when they were children and saw the Christmas lights for the first time. Christmas is about memories of the past and hopes for the future. The very word can bring joy to our hearts and can stir our sense of wonder. Yes, Christina, there will be a Christmas this year, for Christmas isn’t found under a tree but in our hearts.