Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

11 December 2008

Dear Santa

Photo by viva la feminista

Tuesday I set out on what should had been a boring task...Mailing a package at the post office. Considering that I work close to the main post office and it has free parking, that's where I headed on my lunch break. As I walked into the building and played with the automatic package machine for a few minutes I glanced over at what I thought was a job fair. Hmmm...Then I saw them. Piles of paper and people digging thru them. "Shit."

The entire time a worker was helping me get the correct postage (did you know you can buy exactly how much postage you need from the automatic machine? woo!) I kept thinking, "Don't look over there. Just walk past."

I kept thinking that because I knew what was over there.

Dear Santa letters.

Of course I went over there and stayed strong while I looked at what seemed like a never ending row of letters, sorted in piles like "One child-Boy, 3 children, 6+ children, Family, Spanish." I'm not a dummy, I know there is need. I hear the call for coats, canned goods, etc. But there's a barrier to that. Rather I found myself reading thru the pile of "One child-girl" letters. Letters written by moms, grandmas and child care providers asking for simple things for young girls. Letters written by tweens and teenagers hoping for Apple Bottom jeans, piano, or sneakers. I then dug thru the boy pile and found a "I live with my grandma" letter. That one will be shown to a certain nephew who is going thru some pre-teen angst.

If we back up for a second, this was Tuesday....just hours after Illinois had its world shaken to the core by our Governor being arrested. While I never thought GRod was a saint and knew that day was coming, it almost destroyed my faith in government and electoral politics. Thus walking into this situation where I was faced with not just real problems, but problems that could possibly be solved if we had honest people in government who weren't there to make a buck but serve the citizens of our great state was a good thing.

So I took two letters, one girl and one boy, and hope that it serves many purposes:
  1. That my family will be able to make two families happier this holiday season;
  2. That I will have this chance to instill a giving tradition around this season to the kid;
  3. That I will regain my sense of faith in my ability to help make this world a better place, one coloring book at a time;
  4. That by putting this positive energy into the world, it will return thrice-fold to everyone I know.

2 comments:

Absolutely agree! We have been doing this for many years - among other Tzedekah projects - delivering food to the hungry on Rosh Hashanah, Passover - Santa letters during holidays - donating toys to shelters - books to children's hospitals, etc. etc. etc.

A great thing to do. So much need - but person by person we can solve so much...

That's really nice. I recently wrote at Momformation about our plant o give the boys money one night of Chanukah w ith a stipulation that the money be spent on food donations for our local food bank. I'm interested to see how this goes over and I hope it becomes a tradition.