The Editor’s Desk: Letters to Santa

The Editor’s Desk: Letters to Santa

There’s much to enjoy in what children write to the jolly old elf

Publishing “Letters to Santa” from local schoolchildren is a Journal tradition that stretches back many years, and one that I’ve been happy to continue since becoming editor in early 2016. It’s always fun to see the letters start to arrive in my inbox, but every year I realize how increasingly out of touch I am with the hot trends and popular toys of the season. My own son is 22, so is well out of the toy-giving stage, and I don’t yet have any grandchildren, so it’s instructive—and sometimes a challenge—to see what today’s kids are hoping to find under the tree come Christmas Day.

The first batch of letters is always the hardest, especially if they’re handwritten and have been scanned, mostly because I’m out of practice. As all parents (and probably grandparents) know, the hot items can change from year to year, so I can’t always depend on past Christmas letters to guide me. “Paw Patrol” I recognize, and I also now know that anything to do with “LOL” does not mean “laugh out loud”; it refers to a popular series of dolls (and accessories) that apparently come inside a container and are wrapped in layers of material, so purchasers don’t necessarily know what they’ve got until they unwrap the gift.

As someone who had a Barbie doll in the late 1960s, I can (sort of) see the appeal of the LOL dolls and their accessories, although I rather like the idea of knowing what I’m getting. However, since I was thrilled when my baby brother presented me with a dump truck when he arrived home when I was two-and-a-half, and I cut off my Barbie’s hair to give her a not-very-fashionable bob as soon as I could wield scissors, I’m probably not the best judge when it comes to anything to do with dolls.

So when I saw Paw Patrol and LOL requests among this year’s first batch of requests, I felt I was on solid ground, and mentally patted myself on the back. Then I came across a request for FNAF toys, and was thrown. What on Earth was “FNAF”?

They say that Google is your friend, and so it proved to be. “FNAF” turned out to mean “Five Nights at Freddy’s”, which is — according to Wikipedia — a “media franchise based on an indie video game series”.

I understand this sentence now, but my 10-year-old self would have had no clue what it meant; the sentence might as well have been written in Aramaic, for all it would have conveyed. Still, decrypting this enabled me to move forward with slightly more confidence; the same feeling that the decipherers of the Dead Sea Scrolls must have felt when they made their first tentative forays into translating what they had found.

Okay, maybe not quite the same, but you know what I mean. I came across more references to Freddy’s and was able to use that first mention as a touchstone, enabling me to carry on.

There were requests for Lego and Hot Wheels, both of which were welcome flashbacks to my youth. I was a huge fan of Lego, and my brother collected Hot Wheels, so it was good to see that both are still going strong (although it was slightly weird to see that there is now such a thing as “Lego Hot Wheels”: when did this union take place?). And as a child who relished the quiet pleasure of a good book and something to mark one’s place — a plague on the house of anyone who turns down the corner of a page to show where they’ve got to — I quietly rejoiced when I found one student who asked Santa for a bookmark for Christmas.

Whether you have children or not, there is much to savour and enjoy about the “Letters to Santa”. I hope you enjoy them as much as I will over the next couple of weeks. And remember: Google is your friend.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual Internet speeds in BC communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

Fireworks are among the things now banned throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, as the weather heats up and a dry summer looms. (Photo credit: Black Press files)
Category 2 and 3 open fires, fireworks now banned in Kamloops Fire Centre

Ban on certain types of fires and fire activities in place until Oct. 15

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Phil McLachlan/(Black Press Media
Man shot at Kamloops shopping centre

The man is believed to be in stable condition

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read