Blogger’s Note: Over Christmas 2003, we became annual pen-pals with an elf named Siberius Quill. Transcriptions of our first correspondence from him can be seen in the Archives (the week of 11/25). Here is the letter from 2004.
* * * * *
24 December 2004
The Night Before Christmas
My dearest Children!
At last! the Blessed Day has arrived to find all Four of you on the Good List (despite your mother’s teasing). Well done! I trust you will be pleased with your Many Gifts. Although it is not everything you asked for, young Masters, the Old Man (Santa, of course) made doubly sure to bring you that One Special Gift you wanted most. Use your duel disks well and wisely, and take care of them — they are quick to break if mistreated!
Master Brendan: So much of what you wish for is meant for Older Children. The games, especially, are not for you — not yet! Be patient, Young One, and don’t try to grow up too fast! Enjoy being a child while you are still young. The same for you, Master Gabriel. Soon you’ll be in school. Enjoy your time at home with your Mother, Sister and Baby Brother — for once you’ve grown up, you will miss it!
Emma — you’ve got a mischievous streak in you, but not nearly enough to be labeled “Naughty.” (It takes quite a bit to actually get on the Naughty list…) You’d make quite the Elf were your ears pointed. Unfortunately they aren’t — and you’re already the size of full-grown Elf. Keep growing, and next Christmas you’ll be bigger than me!
Now to your questions. All of the things you are wondering about are quite common questions from kids as they get older. The Truth, of course, is that Magic is terribly hard to explain to you who are not surrounded by it daily — to us, Magic is commonplace. Before Santa was Santa, he was St. Nicholas — the Bishop of Myra, whose faith in God brought forth miracles through him. Brendan, you asked how Kris Kringle can circle the globe in a single night. Put simply, he believes he can and he does what he must. Certainly the reindeer are fleet of foot, and of course not everyone believes in Santa Claus, so he need not stop everywhere. But where he goes, he goes quickly, like the Winter Wind — slipping down chimneys, through keyholes and beneath doors; everywhere and nowhere at once. How did he get this job? By being Himself! He is Santa as Santa is him. No other Saint, no man or Elf, can do what he does — he is the One, the Only, Father Christmas; the Spirit of the Season dressed all in fur. He takes on many appearances and has many helpers, both here at the Pole and living among all of you — but there is only one Santa, and Santa is he!
And you, Gabriel, asked how Santa gets down smallish chimneys and how we Elves can build toys so fast. St. Nick, you may know, comes in all shapes and sizes — tall as a Lord and slender, or short and plump; tiny as an Elf or big and strong as an ox. He takes whatever form suits him best in his work, and would appear to you as you picture him in your head. As for chimneys — they are of little concern, as he can change shapes, and whisks down them like a draught of winter wind, rising lazily out again as smoke!
As for the toys, you may have guessed that, with So Many children and so many toys, we no longer make everything by hand. We specialize in the Art of Toy-making — wood-work and painting and sewing and the like — and our Elvish toys go mainly to the youngest and neediest children. All are blessed by the Old Man himself, and sealed with Spells of Finding and Mending, so they are never lost for long and are easy fixed if broken. Let’s see — you also asked how we Elves get our jobs. The short answer is by being Elves! Like Santa, we do what Elves do, and that’s work Christmas magic. Of course, we are born into the Family Business, as they say — so that I am a Elfin Correspondent — a writer — like my forefathers.
As for other Elves, Brendan — your Father has kept last year’s letter safe — it contains the names of many of my family. My own Dear Wife is Grace Quill, formerly Goodcheer, whose family has long been Keepers of Christmas Spirit. I will share two more with you, as they seem Particularly Important given the weather in Minnesota this week. Kelter Skiff, my Good Friend, engineers the runners for Santa’s sleigh, such that they glide over even the slightest hint of snow, or even a frosty shingle! And of course, Flurious Windwatcher, our head meteorologist, has his eyes on the skies like your Father, watching for snow. Old Windy is never short of opinions or grumblings, but he’s the best in the business!
God Bless You, Children, and your Family. Travel safely!
P.S. Happy Christmas, and a joyous New Year to you all!