A Letter to Santa from a Woman of a Certain Age

Its time to write to Santa again, after all these years

Photo by Jenna Anderson on Unsplash

Dear Santa,

 It’s been many years since you heard from me, I know. I didn’t forget you. 

I got older, got absorbed by life and its duties, its chores, its ups and downs.

 I left you to the innocence and wonder of young children. I was an adult now, and had to do what that required. Or so I thought. 

I am older now. I don’t know where all those years went. They seemed to fly by. 

And, instead of getting into being more and more of an adult, I find I am now moving back more toward the ways of a child. Perhaps this is part of the gift of the wisdom of aging. 

I feel everything more deeply, see the wonder more of the world around me. I can be mesmerized by watching the birds bathe, watching the squirrels come to get the peanuts that I leave out for them.

I can stand in front of a huge elephant where I volunteer at the zoo, completely absorbed in that moment as he and I connect on levels that are far beyond words. I am in awe. I feel a depth of love and connection that I cannot name, but know and recognize. I lose all sense of time in that moment. I understand, for that brief moment, the concept of eternity. 

Sunsets can make me cry.

Towering redwoods become my cathedral. 

Just like the lists that I used to have, I have a wish list again at this stage of my life. This list, however, has different dreams on it now.

I want to believe in heros and heroines to come and save this world, this earth that is hurting, along with its creatures, plants, trees, oceans, air, and people. I want to believe that there is a hero in us all. Deep inside each of us. Ready to be called upon to come to the rescue. Rescuing ourselves. Rescuing others. 

I want all the adults to remember and feel the child that they once were inside them. The child who still believes in magic, the child who dreams, the child who wishes. The child who sometimes lashes out because of hurt, but is really needing to feel loved and cared about, to feel safe and held. 

I wish for us to wake up to what we are doing to each other. I wish for the wars and killings and pain inflicted on each other to stop.

I want people to have enough water to drink, enough food to eat. Enough shelter to keep warm and dry. Enough to feel safe. 

I want us to stop hurting animals. To recognize their right to life and existence and to understand that we share this earth and planet. That we all are connected to each other and need to take care of each other. 

I want us to take care of this precious earth and appreciate that this is our sacred home and needs our love and attention.

I want kindness to be finally recognized as the ultimate superpower of them all. And I want that our striving to be better be aimed toward that goal of more gentleness and compassion. Can you imagine an Olympic event for Kindness? A World Cup for Compassion? Why not?

I want for us to be able to accept our humanity and all of its mixed and sometimes tumultuous feelings. To see that this is all part of the human journey and experience. And to be able to hear that in each other and ourselves, rather than denying it, rather than trying to push all those feelings away and then ending up acting out from that place. 

I want us to understand and hear what people of all ages have to say. 

As an older woman now, I want the wisdom of elders to be heard and used toward the healing that it can help move us toward. I have things to share and teach, but I can’t share those if I am not seen or heard. You cannot see someone whom you have made invisible. You cannot hear someone whom you have muted. 

I want these artificial divisions that we have drawn to separate us to be seen for what they are. These divisions are a way to see someone as Other and then feel separate, different, and thus easier to attack. Be it age, gender, race, class, ethnicity, educational level, religion, political beliefs, and all the other ways that we use to try and define ourselves as different than others. Apart from others. Not seeing those others as reflections of parts of ourselves that we all can contain. 

As for me personally, I want more understanding and compassion toward myself, especially during this aging process. And I want us to be able to give that to each other. To watch the changes that aging brings and to be able to love myself during that process, scary as it sometimes can be. 

I want us to see the whole of each piece of us that is still inside. 

I still have the child, the young woman, the young adult, the middle age adult, all inside me. I want to validate and love all those parts of me as I continue my journey in this life toward the end of the path.

I am more than the image that you see when you take one look. I am complex. I need your time and attention to see all of me. And I want to do the same for you. 

I want joy, laughter (not at the expense of myself or others), peace, and the ability to feel what we feel, in all of its bittersweetness. Life is poignant. And it is a precious gift. 

So dear Santa, I know that this is a big list. I also know that it’s important to name and ask for what we want and need. It’s important to dream. It’s important to have visions of what can be, of what each of us can strive to be. Of what we might be together. I believe in you, Santa. Because I believe in us. 

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