Perhaps one of the hardest conversations we have with our young children is that of Santa Claus. After years of fostering the notion that he travels the world in one night with his magnificent reindeer, bringing toys and good cheer to every good girl and boy, slowly, doubt creeps in.

I wrote this to my boys when the magic began to fade in hopes they would see that the real Santa Claus lives in each and every one of us.

Dear Children:

Merry Christmas! As you can see, I’ve learned how to type in the last year while flying around the Arctic Circle. Guess I’m growing up. 

You are growing up, too. But, just because we are getting older doesn’t mean we can’t still be special friends. Honestly, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I couldn’t spend my annual three weeks or so in your welcoming home. I think about it throughout the year and am always keeping an eye on you both — hoping you are well behaved. After all, that was my original mission on orders from the big man in the red suit.

From what I’ve heard from the older elves, sometimes children let go of their dreams as they get older. They stop believing. Their imagination goes underground and is replaced with a more concrete belief system (as you may be able to tell, I also took an English class this year). This is wrong. The heart has so much room for magic. If we stop looking for it, we will no longer see it. It doesn’t matter what others think or say — I think you boys know that whether it’s your mother, father, grandparents, godparents, or friends — good will and love is delivered every day. Are they behind my escapades of flight? Perhaps. But, ask your mother, I’ve managed to outsmart her once or twice in the past few years. 

You need to believe. Believe in yourself. Believe in the good of mankind. When you are having a bad day or feel like you have no friends, believe that tomorrow will be better.  Because it will be. 

And finally, love one another. Without your love, I cannot exist. It is the love of your friends and family that make the magic. So, in the end, you know that I am real.

Merry Christmas! See you next year.


Your Elf (Spicebert) 

santa claus

Julie Sunich

A native of Michigan, journalism grad of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and recent escapee of Florida, Julie made her plans to move to Colorado Springs nearly 30 years ago after repeatedly visiting her college roommate’s hometown to do her laundry. She succeeded in 2012, bringing her twin boys, four dogs, six cats, a horse and her husband in a cross-country trip that rivaled The Fast and The Furious. Her past work includes an eight-year stint as the Dining Editor and features writer for Tampa Bay Illustrated, numerous corporate writing gigs and a recent feature in Colorado Collective. In her free time, she forces her family to hike slot canyons in Utah.