Blogger’s Note: Over Christmas 2003, we became annual pen-pals with an elf named Siberius Quill, and he has again delivered this year! Transcriptions of the 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 letters from him can be seen in the Archives.
My dearest Children!
Another year spent, and quickly! They say, among Your Folk, that the years go Ever Faster the older you get—imagine, then, when your age reaches into the centuries! It seems only Yesterday I was introducing myself, and here we are, Old Hands, as they say.
The Watchers Corps tells me you’ve been Exceptionally Good, all told. All Children have their naughty moments, but according to your assigned Day-Watcher Seamus Farseer, yours are scattered and relatively minor in the Big Scheme of Things. Scopes, as we call him, lacks the patience of his grandfather, the astronomer Nebular—he quickly tires of good families like yours! Old Nebbs has scolded him many a time for betting cups of hot cocoa on the wrongdoing of Other Children!
Lady Emma Rose, now in Kindergarten: already you’ve made a name for Yourself as a child of Honesty and Kindness. It is hard, no doubt, to be the Only Girl among Boys—but Always Remember: it is more important to be Nice than to be Noticed! You are lovely and polite, sparkling like the snow, as your Dziadzi’s song says, so you’ll always be seen, regardless. And young Master Trevor: with So Many older kids about, it is no wonder you feel Overlooked, but believe me: we see and hear you, too! Patience, little Master: Good things come—truly!
Magnificent questions this year, Masters Brendan and Gabriel! To G. first: You asked how Father Christmas writes so well, by which I suppose you mean, how does he make such Splendid Letters when he writes Children by hand. Well, the Old Man has written the notes for So Many Christmases now, he’s had plenty of practice! But more importantly, he makes his Joy (which is Abundant!) manifest through his pen! Think of it this way: You must feel what you want your Reader to feel, then imagine what you want them to see, and only then put pen to paper!
And B., you asked about the Differences between St. Nicholas of Myra and Santa Claus, aside from the obvious—by which I suppose you mean the fact that Nicholas was an Archbishop who died circa 342, while your Santa is evergreen and ever-present (not to mention no longer a priest!). Sister Mary Faith Splendour of the Devout Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Winter tells me that this is an Especially Common question among Children your age. She reminds us that the simplest answer is best when you’re young—and that is, there is no difference; they are one and the same.
But you, Master Brendan, are a decade Wiser than when you arrived, so she shares this: The differences are all those you expect between the physical and the spiritual; the mortal and the immortal. While a Turkish priest can only work what Miracles own his imperfect Faith and frail Form will allow, the Spirit of Christmases Past, Present, and Future can do whatever needs doing, on a whim, fueled by the Faith of millions of people just like you! Miracles are difficult for Human Minds to comprehend, which is why your thinking deeply on these subjects is So Important!
Which brings me to it, at last: There is something I must ask of you, B., as Eldest Brother. As a Tweener, as you say, you may be called upon to take on New Responsibilities with regard to Christmas, as your Father did when he was ten. This new role is of the utmost importance and is, for Now, entrusted to You and You Alone. In a quiet moment, ask your Folks—I warn you, they might be caught off guard, but I’ve no doubt they’ll share it with you The Instant they are Ready!
Happy Christmas and Safe Travels to your Busia and Dziadzi. God Bless You and your Family. I wish you All the Best in the New Year—and Always!
P.S. You may have noticed, as I have, that the older children get, the smaller their gifts (video games, for example, instead of great rumbling racetracks!). Since Santa’s sack is Magical, of course, this has no physical effect on how much he can carry—but it does require a recalibration of the spells. Two Mathematimagicians, Voluminous Theorim and Lucia Croix-Parallux, are responsible for such geometric calculations in the Fourth and Fifth Dimensions—assuring that everyone’s gifts show up precisely where they should in Space and Time.