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My dear child,

I read your message yesterday when you asked me if you were on the naughty list. It sounds like you’ve been very worried.

First of all, I want to say: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for the naughty list to worry you. 

I know you’re disappointed in yourself this year. You know that you’ve sometimes broken the rules. Maybe you are thinking of times when you could have been nicer or more helpful. But here’s something you might not know: every single person on my nice list has broken a rule. Every single person on my nice list has missed a chance to be kind. Every boy and girl (and even moms and dads.)

Does that mean that I’ll be pulling up to your neighbourhood with a huge sack of coal? Ho ho ho, no, my child.  I’m going to leave the coal stacked by the fireplace this year, to warm my toes in the North Pole. 


My goodness, can you imagine what would happen to a child who woke up to find only coal in a stocking? What do you think would happen to that girl or boy? I did try that once long ago, as an experiment, and I’m sorry to say that it didn’t help anyone at all. Not a crumb. 


I want you to be sure that you will be getting a gift this year, because my gifts are free. They are given out of love. A real gift is not earned. All of us need love, even those of us who get in trouble sometimes. 


So, I’m going to drop off a gift for you to open Christmas morning, and I hope it’s exactly what you wanted, because your smile is the best gift I could ask for. Then, after all the boxes are opened, I hope you look around and find a few more gifts that will stay with you all year…

Remember that you always have the gift of “another chance.” No matter what mistakes we make, we can always try again and learn to do better.

You also have the gift of “another day.” When you get tired and you run out of ideas, get some rest and the next day will bring you fresh energy and hope.

Finally, and most importantly, you have the gift of “love.” There are loving people around you who will help you and care for you. When you aren’t sure what to do, love will show you the way. As you grow, you’ll even find more things to love about yourself. 

Have a beautiful Christmas, my dear child. You were made to be loved. 

Love, Santa