By Jenn Watt
Kids say the most hilarious things. They also say the most heartening and enlightened things too.
It’s always fun each year to leaf through the stack of stories wish lists and drawings made by students at Archie Stouffer Elementary School in Minden and Stuart Baker Elementary School in Haliburton to see what magical worlds they will create. You can find them in the Season’s Greetings section of this week’s paper.
In many stories Santa has a problem saying no to cookies and sweets. Rudolf gets lost a few times (once he ends up in the aisles of Foodland). A yeti takes on the traditional role of the elf and makes toys for kids. A gingerbread girl finds a snowsuit so she won’t disintegrate in the snow.
Reading the letters brings you back to a time when Christmas was a mysterious tradition filled with delicious treats exciting gifts and worlds of quirky characters.
Through these fantasy scenarios the kids letters are also a window into how they perceive the holiday and what kinds of actions Christmas inspires.
These stories cover the gamut from friendship kindness charity peacemaking humour redemption and love.
One girl writes about making a sweater for her friend Mr. Mouse. She knits for days in order to ensure he is warm for Christmas.
In another a boy imagines himself as the Grinch greedy for presents. After stealing all the presents from the kids of Whoville he is caught by Santa and repents. He gives back the gifts even as he knows that means he will have none. What does Santa do? He forgives the Grinch and gives him a present – the first he had ever received.
A girl from ASES writes her story from the point of view of a kitten who wants to make sure she has cookies to give Santa. Problem is as a cat she is not tall enough to reach the cookies at the grocery store. Solution? She asks Santa for cookies for Christmas. That way she can share them.
Sometimes we get caught up lamenting the commercialism of the holiday and how fixated kids can get on expensive gifts. (And we have plenty of iPhone references on the wish lists in this week’s edition.) But what these stories and drawings also show is that the kids are well aware of the meaning behind the festivities.
They see Christmas as a time for toys but also a time to make cookies with grandparents give gifts to neighbours decorate the tree with friends and have a lot of fun.
The kids have it right and it’s all there in their stories.