Friday, December 21, 2012

The Final Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

Yep.  It's me again.  Bet you didn't realize you were going to be getting three letters from me this year.  Here we are just three days before your big day.  I hope you're getting plenty of rest for your long night....there are so many kids counting on you to be on your game Monday night.

My first letter to you was about giving my students a great Christmas.  Last week, I wrote to you with a few requests of my own.  Today, I want to write with a few requests for the entire country that I live in.

Last Friday, while writing a letter to you with silly requests for myself, I had no idea of the events that would take place just a few hours later.  The first crime that actually brought me to heart wrenching sobs since 9/11.  Twenty beautiful, innocent, unknowing children had their lives taken away from them for no rhyme or reason except some idiot wanted to leave this world making a name for himself.  Why he had to take so many innocent children and loving teachers with him will probably always remain a mystery - but he did.  Just a mere week and a half before Christmas.

Now, that small town in Connecticut is banding together to provide comfort and help to the victims' families and friends.

Unfortunately, rather than using this horrible crime as a way to band together the country at this very important time of year, the country once again becomes divided in a stupid, pointless argument about gun control and gun laws.  I know, I'm as sickened and disappointed as you probably are.

Regardless of which side of the fight you are on, the truth remains that criminals will continue to commit crimes.  People will still kill.  Lives will continue to be shattered.  No amount of new laws will change that... because it's the law breakers committing these crimes.  I just wish more people would understand that.  At this most devastating time, people are missing an opportunity to spread love and support.  They'd much rather take to their social media outlets and argue and fight over pointless matters.  It just breaks my heart.

I think you know where I'm going with this, don't you?  Yes.  I want you to try and sprinkle some love and unity across this country on your trip.  I don't know if you have that kind of magic... but I can hope.  Help people see that fighting is what causes more problems.  If we could just come together - unite as one - then this country would be so much better off.

After hearing the news last Friday, my first reaction wasn't to blurt off about more guns being in the schools, that more people should be allowed to carry guns, or that guns should be banned.  My first reaction was that I wanted to hug my children and my students.  I wanted to show them that violence is never the answer, and that they could always come to me when they were having a tough time, there were people out there that could always provide support and comfort to them if they needed it.  I wanted to explain to them that "making a name for themselves" could come from discovering a cure for a disease, starting a company that helps people, winning sporting games, teaching children.....good, honorable things.  A bad name is not a name they want to create for themselves.  Ever.

This Christmas, what I would like more than any gift that I can unwrap on Christmas morning is to just have love and happiness in my home, my town, my state, and my country.  For people to stop getting on to social media sites and arguing and fighting.  It's so much to ask...too much... but a hope and dream I will always carry with me.

Yesterday, I stopped and gave a homeless man a hamburger.  I could have looked at him holding his sign in the bitter cold and mumbled to myself about how he should go and get a job and leave people alone, which I'm sure many people were mumbling to themselves as they drove by him... but I didn't.  I gave him a hamburger that cost me all of $1.  A small gesture on my part, but a huge deal to him.  He thanked me as if I had just given him the keys to a brand new car.  He then said "Merry Christmas, God bless!"  It brought a tear to my eye that my first thought wasn't that I had really helped this guy in a small way, but what people would say to his well wishes.  How terrible is that?  My first thought went straight to the other point of interest on Facebook - the dreaded Merry Christmas greeting.  I definitely took no offense to his greeting - and said the exact same thing to him.  I was touched that a man in this situation would still wish me well this holiday season.

So, my dear Kris Kringle, this year I ask for the impossible.  I ask for the same thing that many people have asked for but never received - the gifts of peace, love, and happiness for an entire nation.  I just hope that one day, my wish can come true.  It may not be in my lifetime, but I will dedicate everything I have to send away students from my classroom with that desire and wish in their hearts.  It may only be 20 students a year, but it soon adds up.  If I can help 20 students a year, and they all help 20 people, and then those people help another 20 people.... one day things in this country can be a lot better.

Merry Christmas, Big Guy.  Safe Travels.  


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