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  • Writer's pictureAmi Thompson

Santa strategy

Dear Santa,

Please bring me an Annie doll and her Daddy Warbuck's mansion.



No, no, no. Santa will not be impressed with this letter. It is probably like all the other letters he receives. I need to make sure mine is noticed.

Dear Santa,

I know you are going to all the children in the world. I just wanted to remind you that I have been a good girl all year long. I don't fight with my brother. Will you bring me an Annie doll and her Daddy Warbuck's mansion?



Yes, I decided this version of the letter is definitely better. I let Santa know it was OK for him to leave me the toys because I had been good. I did not want him to confuse me with another girl who had a bad year. Yet, what if this letter is still not special enough for Santa? Better write again. Maybe I should show Santa I have good manners. I know Santa does get a lot of letters and mine needs to be the best.

Dear Santa,

How are you? I hope you are good. I hope you have good weather for your upcoming trip. My name is Ami and I have been a very good girl all year long. I try to make Mom and Dad happy and I eat my vegetables. When you visit my house, could you leave me an Annie doll and a Daddy Warbuck 's mansion? I would play with them every day. It would really make me happy. Thank you.

Love, Ami

PS- I hope Rudolph is good and getting his sleep before the big trip. Tell him Hi.

Yes, this is a unique letter. Santa should be impressed with my manners and especially my thoughtfulness in remembering Rudolph. More importantly, just in case he was not sure if I were a good girl, this letter should prove I am. Yes, I will stick with this letter. Now, what paper will Santa like the most? Should I write it on red or green paper? What if I pick the wrong color? Will it be automatically delivered to the wrong address if the color is wrong? I need this letter to get to Santa. I can't take any chances. I better go with white paper. So, with all the enthusiasm you would expect of a six year old at Christmastime I went in search of a clean piece of white paper. I found a piece of paper in the kitchen closet and as I returned to the table, I was struck with the best idea yet of making the letter special. I decided to write every other word in the letter in an alternating red green pattern. I thought this stroke of color genius would ensure that Santa would read my letter. After all, how many other children would think of writing in varying colors? I felt so proud of myself for being so creative.

When I had finally finished creating my masterpiece to Santa panic suddenly set in. How was I supposed to get this letter to him? I had not thought beyond creating the perfect letter. Where would I find Santa's address? Fortunately, during this adrenaline rush of panic my older brother walked into the kitchen. I was saved. He had written Santa before so, I was certain he would remember Santa's address. "Eric," I shouted in a desperate pleading tone, "how do I get this letter to Santa?"

Eric actually started laughing after hearing my dilemma. He sat down beside me and eased my fears. He calmly stated that all I needed to write on the envelope was Santa at the North Pole. I did not have to worry about any street name because Santa was the only one that had a mailbox on the North Pole. After he explained this, he must have seen the curiosity in my wide blue eyes because he then quickly added that the elves and reindeer also lived on the North Pole, but did not receive mail. My problem was solved!! I felt so relieved to get this information because I really, really needed Santa to get my letter.

I addressed the letter and ran around the house looking for my mother. I figured I had to mail this letter right away so Santa would get it in time. I finally found my mother and frantically pleaded, "Mom, we have to get to the post office right now. I finished my letter to Santa and Eric told me his address. Please can we go now?!?"

Thankfully, my mother understood the urgency of my request and agreed to take me to the post office. Before we left however, she asked if she could read the letter. I was torn in my decision. I wanted to make Mom happy by letting her read, but this was a special letter written just for Santa to read. I finally decided to let her read the letter and was immediately rewarded for my decision. As she read, she noticed that I did not write my return address on the envelope. I did not grasp the importance of this omission. I did not want my letter mailed to myself; it needed to get mailed to the North Pole. Then my mother explained that my address was necessary so that Santa would know positively where to bring the toys. Astonished that Eric did not tell me this important piece of information, I quickly added my address. Then my mother and I headed to the post office and mailed this very important letter.

I was very proud of myself for writing the perfect letter, but as Christmas neared I began to panic again. What if he didn't get the letter? What if everyone requested Annie dolls and Daddy Warbuck's mansions and Santa would not have any left when he arrived at my house? My heart began racing as these worries overtook me. What could I do now to ensure Santa would bring these toys? I took my dilemma to my grandpa.

Pipe smoke surrounded my grandfather as he sat in his favorite maroon recliner. At first, I was afraid to ask Pa for help. What if word got back to Santa that I was questioning his ability? If that happened, then I surely wouldn't receive Annie. However, Pa had been watching me twitch and twirl my thumbs in a nervous manner and knew I was concerned about something. He stretched his hands toward me and asked what was wrong. Sensing this as an invitation, I climbed into his lap and explained my worries.

Pa understood my fear so he explained how Santa works on Christmas Eve. First, Pa made it clear that even if Santa received my letter, he would not visit any house until the children were fast asleep. I made a mental note of this and swore I would be asleep real early. Secondly, Pa thought it was important for me to understand just how busy Santa actually was on Christmas Eve. Pa reiterated that Santa had to rush from house to house to deliver all the presents in one night. Since Santa was working so hard, he would become very hungry. Pa recommended that I should show how thoughtful I was in recognizing Santa's hard work by leaving him cookies. A smile crossed my face as I listened to the genius of my Pa. I decided then and there to make sure I left specially decorated cookies for Santa. If I wanted to impress Santa even more with my thoughtfulness, Pa suggested I leave carrots for all the reindeers. Pa explained that the reindeer might not go up and down all the chimneys with Santa, but they work just as hard and would be just as hungry. Good advice I thought. I will definitely remember carrots. Finally, Pa said he would let me have one of his pipes and tobacco to leave for Santa. This was the element that would set me apart from the other children. Pa hinted that many people may think to leave Santa food, however very few would think of leaving a smoke to help give a little relaxation. When Pa finished giving his advice I hugged him as hard as I could and kissed his cheeks. My insides were jumping for joy because Pa had given me the secret advice to assure that Santa would bring Annie and Daddy Warbuck's mansion.

Finally, Christmas Eve arrived. I set out a plate of frosted cookies and carrots. I even left a glass of milk in case the cookies made Santa thirsty. Beside this, I carefully placed Pa's pipe and tobacco. Not surprisingly, I then rearranged the cookies on the plate to make the plate appear just perfect. I did not want to miss the littlest detail. During all of this, my parents had turned the radio on to receive updates on Santa's progress. Every ten minutes the weather reporter would come on and announce the area of the last Santa sighting. When he reported that Santa was sighted in Rhode Island I scrambled to bed. I did not want to take any chances of being awake when Santa arrived. Excitement won over however, and I lay wide eyed in bed.

To make Santa believe I was asleep, I pulled all the covers over my head. I figured even if Santa knew I was awake he would know that I wasn't peeking. It was a good thing I covered up when I did too. Five minutes after my plunge under the covers, I heard reindeer footsteps on the roof.

I heard a clicking noise, like the one dogs make when they walk on the pavement when their

toenails are too long. Yes, there were definitely reindeer on the roof. This meant that Santa had arrived too.

Would Santa enjoy the pipe? Had he received my letter? Did he have enough toys? The suspense was driving me wild. I waited as long as I could and ran to wake up my parents. Even though their alarm clock read 4:00 I assured them I heard the reindeers and I was sure Santa had been here. My Dad agreed to go down stairs and check to see if Santa had really come. I was jumping up and down at the top of the stairs waiting to hear my father confirm that Santa had visited. My stomach felt as though it was popping popcorn. I had never felt such intense suspense. I really thought I might burst. Finally, my Dad yelled that I was right and Santa did come. I ran down the stairs faster than I ever had before. I made it to the first floor and saw that all the cookies and carrots were eaten. The milk was even gone too! The floor was sprinkled with tobacco. In fact, there was a trail of tobacco that led to the family room. I followed the trail to find that Santa had left an Annie doll and a Daddy Warbuck's mansion!

After playing with my toys all day, I headed to the kitchen to write one more letter. I needed to thank Santa.

Dear Santa,

Thank you for bringing me what I wanted. I hope you liked the tobacco. Pa said you would. I promise to be a good girl this year too.

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