To Santa/God on Christmas Eve
December 24, 2018
To Whom It May Concern:
I tried. I really did.
I tried to practice kindness, compassion, and self-care. I tried to turn the other cheek. I tried to be honest, hardworking, humble, confident, loyal, loving, and true to myself.
I tried, though my trying never feels like quite enough.
I did some cool things this year. I graduated from community college seven years after I started. I spent the whole year sober, though some days are still hard. I decided to go to seminary so I can be a minister when I grow up.
Things are really different than when I believed in you.
I’m the one putting the presents under the tree now. It’s a little tree this year. We celebrate holidays the UU way, so it’s adorned with Hanukkah tinsel, a chalice, and a giant peace sign.
I used to think you could solve my problems. I used to think you would see my heart’s desires and manifest them for me if I just believed enough. I remember feeling so much disappointment once upon a time when my prayers went unanswered and my unspoken Christmas wishes went unfulfilled.
I’m realizing, however, that I don’t need anyone, much less some invisible man, to do anything for me. I am more than enough and more than capable of manifesting my own needs and desires. I am more than capable of seeking out people and communities who will gladly aid me on my journey, and the best part is that those people and communities actually exist.
I’m kind of bitter this Christmas, and I’m feeling kind of guilty about some things.
I feel guilty for celebrating and letting my son celebrate a holiday without honoring its religious roots. It feels kind of like cultural appropriation.
I feel guilty for not being more grateful and joyful this holiday season.
I feel guilty that because my son was born on the “right” side of an imaginary line, he gets to wake up to Christmas tomorrow while his brothers and sisters in humanity suffer in frigid cells at the border for the crime of being born on the “wrong” side of the line.
I feel guilty for being sad when there is so much more I could have to be sad about.
I want a lot of things for Christmas this year.
I want world peace. I want compassionate people running the government. I want universal healthcare, investments in education, equity, common sense gun control, a societal focus on environmentalism, and for Ruth Bader Ginsburg to live forever.
I recognize that it’s Christmas Eve and my wishlist is a pretty tall order, so I’ll just ask for one thing:
Let me keep up this tiny flame of hope I’ve been tending, because with hope, humanity can handle the rest – without the help of invisible men in the North Pole or the sky.
Wishing you all the best – and then some,