Every year I give my Japanese high school students the option to write letters to Santa. And every year the letters get better and better. This year is by far the highest turnout I’ve had so far: around 40-50 letters in total, up from 15-20 last year.
This year is also the year Canada Post chose to downsize its Letters to Santa program, which meant my plans to have them delivered directly to Santa via Canada were thwarted. Luckily a couple of kind souls volunteered to act as Santa’s representatives, so all hope is not lost.
It would be a crime to keep the joy these letters brought me (before I mailed them off) all to myself, so I want to share some of the highlights with you. Some of them were hilarious, some of them were predictably adorable, and some of them even brought tears to my eyes. Consider yourself warned.
In addition to the usual requests for clothes, scarves, money and boyfriends, students’ requests included:
- A sweet crepe
- Pornograffiti DVD (I think this is a band… but I’m not sure Santa will understand)
- An outrageously big strawberry
- A smart/wise head
- Doraemon (fair enough, he’d be a handy guy to have around)
- A Bible (rather unusual request in Japan)
- A house (no big deal)
- A castle (not to be outdone by her friend, I suppose)
- The smile of my favourite people
- My Mom’s relax time and good memories
- Everybody’s happiness (the happiness of others was a common request)
- A heart not to lose
- A gentle heart that can give all
- The secret to what is needed to become good
- A happy Christmas for people around the world
Many of them also greeted Santa very kindly, and more than a few wished Santa good health, thanked him for his hard work, and a few even extolled him to live forever.
I couldn’t help but think, as I read over some of the more serious and less material requests, that many of the things were more suited for prayers than for gift requests… but who can know the limits of Santa’s magic, really?
That last letter is actually the first one I read, and it shocked me into tears. These are teenagers, people, 15- and 16-year-old girls. Do you need further proof that there is a glimmer of hope for the future?
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
What did you (or your kids) ask from Santa for Christmas this year? If you were Santa, which of these wishes would you want to grant the most? Did you appreciate or despise my Upworthy-esque title? Yes, I did it on purpose. No, I’m not proud.
*The content of this post is the property of my students, and thus I must request that you do not copy, reproduce or repost this content elsewhere. All rights reserved. May the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future forever haunt, in all planes of existence, those who disregard this request.