Dear, Santa Claus

It’s me that black girl from Napoleonville, Louisiana who despised you. I found out you were not real when I was in second grade. You see when you grow up in poverty and someone tells you as a child about Santa Claus your expectations become high.

Well, at least my expectations were high when it came to you. My mind frame year-round revolved around the naughty or nice list.

Dear Santa Claus

I often wondered if the nights I went to sleep hungry if you would make it up to me and my family for Christmas? I thought that you stop by at nighttime with food for us for Christmas Day. I wondered if you would still stop by my run-down home even though we did not have any milk or cookies.

I was concerned about where and how you would park your sleigh to get into my home. I know you couldn’t park your sleigh on the roof because you would fall through our weak rusted tin roof. We also did not have a fireplace just a gas heater that became a fire hazard. I thought you cared wholeheartedly about the true meaning of Christmas.

Milk & Cookies for Santa

Christmas has become so commercialized. All I ever saw on television was chubby, washed up, white man versions of you. People even started saying that there was a black Santa who never forgot about his people. I fell for that lie too. One night in December, I watched my mama sit by a night light trying to wrap presents for me and my two siblings. She wasn’t the best at wrapping gifts. It was her effort that made me smile from looking up from my year drenched pillow.

At that moment, I was filled with happiness. I was thankful for her secrecy. I was thankful that she never made me or my younger sister and brother think anything less of her. Her long, hot and brutal days in the sugar cane field painted a story of strength every year. I thought about God.

I thought about his love, grace, and tender mercies. I realize that writing a Christmas list to you would never fulfill my needs. I no longer despise you. I just don’t believe that your image should be forced upon any child as a savior, healer, or even giver of gifts. You're cute to look at. Your holiday songs are even fun to sing. Just don’t think you're pulling the wool over any child's eyes who grew and are growing up in poverty.

Sincerely, Linda Hurd

Have you ever written a letter to Santa? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. I would love to talk to you.

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