Even Santa Cries Sometimes!
A Special Collection of Letters to Santa
Illustrations by Pat Sunseri
Copyright © 1993 by Bruce McGuy – all rights reserved
First edition published by Home Run Publishing Company
ISBN : 0-9642311-0-7
To My Wife Joanne
And to our children Christopher, Jennifer Lynne, Jennifer Elizabeth, Nichole Marie and our newest addition, Rachel Erin, who believe in me and give me the inspiration and love that is so needed in day-to-day life.
A Special Dedication
To every child that comes into this world with only the God-given instincts of Love, with a small hand grasping for understanding and warmth, and with a voice crying out for love. They know nothing else until we teach them. May we all be a little more kind towards the little voice that comes from below our knees with a question that seems meaningless. For if we don’t teach love and understanding, our children will perish at the hands of each other.
About the Author
Bruce McGuy is a contractor, born and raised in Fresno, California. He moved to the San Jose area upon graduation from high school. He and his wife Joanne are the proud parents of a young girl, as well as two children each from previous marriages.
After surviving a troubled childhood, during which Christmas provided some of his best memories, Bruce determined that he would make a difference for other children, especially those who come from troubled homes. Through his seemingly endless energy, creative ability and tenacious dedication, Bruce has devoted time and resources to fulfilling his personal commitment to children coming from dysfunctional homes. Whether it is his involvement with the local school, coaching Little League, or simply being the neighborhood Santa Claus at Christmas time, Bruce has clearly shown that his love and concern for children is more than just words.
At Christmas time, the decorations on his home make it a community event. Playing Santa Claus each night, Bruce has the opportunity to personally hear the heartfelt wishes of hundreds of boys and girls, many of whom have stories that would break the hearts of the most hardened individuals. From their simple requests for toys to the expression of their deepest inner feelings, Bruce leaves them feeling as though they REALLY have met Santa Claus. As you read their letters and Santa’s responses, see if you can’t feel the magic.
My hope is that after reading this very special collection of letters you will have a greater compassion for the child that has experienced the loss of a loved one, divorce in the family, a need for understanding, or just needs an answer to a simple question. I hear the pleas of so many children and feel the frustration of not being able to help. So many of the letters I receive are written in desperation without the parents’ knowledge. After receiving and responding to these letters over the years, I decided that sharing some of them with you might help all of us understand what is going on in the minds of these young children who are going through some very difficult times.
The first letter in this book was made into an article about my experiences playing Santa Claus for the children in my neighborhood, and the many letters they left in Santa’s Mailbox. I personally write back to each and every child. Last year, there were over twenty thousand visitors to my home to share the Christmas spirit, and I received over a thousand letters to Santa.
The names on each letter are not the same, but the situation seems to be quite similar in many of the letters. Instead of printing the same type of letter over and over I tried to bring you a mixture for a greater understanding. I have made it a point to respond to these letters and keep a diary of my responses for future reference.
“EVEN SANTA CRIES SOMETIMES”
It’s that time of the year again when its up in the attic I go. Like a child waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve with great anticipation, I frantically search for my Christmas display pieces with the thousands of feet of lighting I use to decorate the outside of my home each year.
As I fight with the cobwebs and the intense heat of the attic, my eyes fix upon my favorite mentor standing over in the corner, propped up only by a small red and white mailbox with the worlds “Santa’s Mail”. As I draw nearer, I notice that the heat has been exceptionally hard on his painted surface. His face has more lines than the years before, and his shoes are splitting and fading with age. As I gently move my good friend, I also notice the bags of mail addressed to Santa from the years past.
As I view the bag of letters, a deep inner feeling overcomes me. I start to drift back to previous years when, after playing Santa for the children, I would bring Santa’s mail into the house and place it on top of my antique desk. With quill pen and ink ready to go, I would sit down, long after the family retired for the night, and begin to open each letter. With the first letter in hand, the long night would begin, as I wouldn’t stop until I had responded to each and every letter. I would often work into the wee hours of the morning, for not all letters are as simple as “Hey Santa, give me a car, boat, a Game Boy and some other good stuff, and, oh ya, I love you.” Many children ask for things that are out of my reach and force me to search deep inside myself to find just the right words of response.
Like the letter I received from an eight-year-old who wrote, “Dear Santa, I cry a lot, my baby brother died. I wish for you to give all my toys to him in Heaven. Love, Carol” On her letter she drew a Christmas tree with lights and a makeshift coffin with a cross on it. After many hours and many more tears, I wrote the response, “Even Santa Claus Cries Sometimes”, and “yes, I’ll do my best to do what I can for you. Love, Santa”. The following year this same young lady came up to me while I was playing Santa and thanked me for giving her brother toys in Heaven. It’s not always easy responding to these pleas, but I feel I responded from the heart. After all, the pleas are coming from their hearts. . .
I want you to know that I moved in with my Grandma, my brother Jimmy, too. We don’t live in the old house any more. Some policemen came and took mom away. Grandma said she is a bad person and that hurts my feelings. So please bring our presents to Grandma’s house, Jimmy wants a G.I. Joe, toy guy, football, truck and car; I want a new dress and shoes if that’s not too much.
Thank you for your letter, Santa will be sure to come to Grandma’s house this year. I was sorry to hear about your mom, for I know she is really a very nice person. I am sure she is just having some problems at this time and hopefully getting some needed help. I know it isn’t easy for Jimmy and you, but try to help Grandma and Jimmy when you can. I am sure Grandma loves the two of you, and don’t forget to check under the tree for something special.
Dear Santa Claus,
Merry Christmas. I want some jewelry for Christmas and a toy rabbit, and a troll. Please bring lipstick for Mommy and some lipstick for me. Mommy said if we look pretty for Daddy he will stay home more. Say happy birthday to Jesus for me please. Have I been good this year? Thank you for the presents from last year. And also I want markers.
It was so nice to hear from you again this year. You have quite a list of presents this time around. I told Rudolph that you wanted some lipstick for Mommy and you, and Rudolph said he will give you some of his. Sometimes Rudolph uses a little red lipstick to shine up his nose. It’s getting late and we still have a lot of packing to do. So long, see you very soon. Don’t forget to look under the tree.
My name is Tommy, I am 8 ½ years old. What I want for Christmas is my daddy to come home. He is tall and kinda big in the belly like you. He moved away and I don’t know where he moved to. I miss my daddy and want you to help find him. When you and Rudolph take presents to the houses look for my daddy and tell him to come home. My phone number is 999-9999. You can call me if you see him.
(After receiving this letter I used the phone number provided to talk to Tommy’s mother. She indicated to me that she and her husband were having problems, but he was going to move back in and they were going to counseling.)
Thank you for your letter. I am sure that you will see your dad soon. You didn’t ask for any gifts, but I won’t forget you.
This specific letter above inspired Bruce to write a special song which he dedicated to Tommy.
Hi, my name is Julie. I am 21 ½ months old. I can’t write very well yet so my mommy is helping me. I wrote on the other page. I’m so looking forward to having you come to my house. I just can’t wait until Christmas. I have a brother named Jonathan. He is 12 years old and not doing so well. He has been in the hospital most of the past two years. It would be so helpful if you could take the time to send Jonathan a short letter as well. We will leave you some cookies Mommy made and a glass of milk, and some sugar for the reindeer. Please give yourself a big hug from me.
I love you Santa,
The first thing I did after reading your letter was to get a letter off to Jonathan. I’ll try to write to him again after Christmas to see how he is doing. Julie, what a beautiful name to go with a truly beautiful little girl. I’m so looking forward to seeing you this year.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Game
Rock Steady and BeBop Shredder
Yes, I’ll try my best to bring you what you asked for. As for a new daddy, that’s something Santa can’t bring you. If I could, I would. I hope your Christmas is a wonderful one. See you soon.
You forgot to come to my house last year. Mommy said it’s because we moved to the shelter and you didn’t know it. This year I’ll tell you we are living at GaGa’s house so you don’t forget. If you could, will you bring last year’s presents too?
Santa is happy to hear you have moved out of the shelter. If I had known, I would have found a way to make sure you received your presents last year. Rudolph wants me to tell you hello. We are looking forward to bringing you your presents, we both missed you. I’ll try to bring you something special this year.
Please bring my daddy some work. If you need any help, just let him know. We need money so we don’t have to move. I would like for my brother to get a few toys. Not too many, that way all the children get some. I would like some roller skates.
Tracy, age 10.
Dear Santa Claus,
I am Connor. I want a big truck.
I want a building set.
I want a whole set of turtles.
I want a ladder.
I want a fire truck.
I will pick them up every night.
I don’t want Dad to be mad at me.
I love you. My name is Mike, and I am 9 years old. I like Christmas very much, I would like some goodies. I have been a good boy. My grandpa died and I won’t be home for Christmas, so bring them to Grandma’s house, 1212 Willcauk Ave. Grandma’s very sad, so bring her something extra good.
Santa is sorry to hear that your grandpa has passed away. Make sure you let Grandma know Rudolph and Santa love her. Also, don’t forget to let her know how much you love her too. I’ll have no problem finding your grandma’s house, I’ve been there many times.
I would like Rudolph for Christmas. I will take good care of him, and I won’t let any of my friends ride him unless you say it’s OK. I’ll feed him and wash him every night. My mom will let him eat at the table with us if it’s alright with you.
I read you letter to Rudolph today and he’s been thinking about it. But, I must tell you Megan, I need Rudolph here with me. Otherwise, we might miss Christmas and no children will receive any presents. Rudolph says ‘thank you’ for the offer. He knows you would take good care of him, but he would miss all of his friends up here. We will stop by your house with presents, so look under the tree for a special one from Rudolph.
Dear Santa Claus,
Why you come down the chimney? Don’t get burned by the fire.
No, Santa doesn’t get burned when coming down the chimney because my red suit is fireproof. But I must admit you had a very good question. You know, James, asking questions is the best way to learn new things. You must have forgotten to put your Christmas list in the envelope. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure there is something under the tree for you.
(This is a collection of letters from Sara over the years.)
I am writing this letter for Sara because Sara is only 5½ years old and can’t write yet. She said to tell Rudolph hello and she loves you and Mrs. Claus. Sara would like a Cabbage Patch doll, a Barbie, and some clothes. Sara promises to take good care of these gifts because she knows not all children are as fortunate as she is.
Love, Sara and Mom
Dear Sara and Mom,
Thank you for drawing such a pretty picture of Santa and Rudolph. I’ll do my best to bring you what you asked for.
P.S. Thank you, Mom, for your help.
Hi, I love you. Get me lots of toys. Tell Rudolph I love him. Mom made cookies for you.
Love, Sara and Mom
P.S. Sara wrote this letter by herself. Pretty good for 6 ½ years old, don’t you think?
What a wonderful letter you wrote Santa. Your writing is better than most letters I receive. Rudolph enjoyed the different color crayons you used. Keep up the good work. Sara, you are asking for a lot this year. We’ll see what we can do for you. Be sure to look under the tree this year for something special.
I am almost 8 years old and would like a Nintendo set. And a radio. And a new doll, and some more toys. Also bring Barnie our dog something. He has been real good too.
Thank you for your letter. I will try to bring most of what you asked for, but the sleigh is pretty full this year. I believe there is still room for something for Barnie, we’ll see.
My mom and dad are yelling a lot. It make Mom and me cry. Dad said he is moving away and for me not to cry. He said he will come back to see me sometimes. I think I have been bad, that’s why Dad moved away. So you don’t have to bring me any presents if you don’t want to.
I was so happy to hear from you again this year. It also make Santa sad to hear that your mom and dad are not happy. But Sara, I don’t believe it is because of you. Your parents have things to work out together. Try telling your mom and dad that Santa said you should talk to them about why you’re so sad. Rudolph said he has lots of presents for you this year, so be sure to look under the tree. I am looking forward to your next letter so please don’t forget to write. Rudolph and I would miss hearing from you.
My name is Julie. I am 9 years old. I’ve been 95% good. Could you bring a Baby Giggles and a Fisher Price Doll House? Thank you.
P.S. Mommy’s only been good 30% of the time this year, so I guess she won’t be getting any presents this year.
I was so glad to hear you have been good this year. I will try to bring you what you have asked for. As for Mommy, it sounds like you don’t agree with her most of the time. I believe we should forgive and forget and try to get along better this coming year. So, be sure to tell mom to look under the tree.
My name is Lori, and I am nine years old. I kinda don’t believe in Santa because one year I found a list of stuff I got on my mom’s desk. But if you are real, I would like a Barbie, some clothes, shoes and please give some gifts to my grandpa in Heaven. I miss him very much.
P.S. If you run out of stuff, give some of my stuff to other kids.
All I want is money and I want it now…
P.S. S.A.S.E. enclosed no checks please
Many children and adults don’t really know what they want for Christmas. I am so happy you don’t have that problem so I would like to give you what you asked for. Except you forgot to tell me how much money you needed. I guess you really didn’t know what you wanted after all.
Looking forward to your next letter.
I WANT for Christmas a real kitty cat, Home Alone 2, the movie; Pet Shop, Mall Madness, the game;
Toy Pony, a tall car ride, Barney Movie, hockey skates, Beauty the Beast, baby Jesus manger, Rudolph, your sleigh, and some elves to make the rest of the toys you don’t bring me.
Got your list. What a list! I don’t know how much room I will have for the other children if I bring you everything you have asked for. But again this year I will do my best. As for Rudolph and Santa’s sleigh, I can’t part with them. Rudolph is my friend and my sleigh is my transportation. The elves are very happy here at the North Pole making toys for the children of the world. See you soon.
I am 12 years old and live with my mom and her new boyfriend. I don’t like him. He is mean to me. I tell my mom, but she doesn’t believe me. I don’t want to go home after school. I stay at my friend’s house a lot. I love my mom and want to be home more, but he says mean things to me. You wrote me last year, so please write back again. I know I didn’t ask for anything this year. I don’t need anything.
Your letter sounds like you do need something. Maybe a little love and understanding. See if you can find an older person to talk to your mom for you. I don’t know where your father is, but maybe he can help. If not, then try your grandparents, aunts or uncles, or maybe one of your next-door neighbors. I don’t feel that things will get any better without help from someone. So, don’t give up on Mom, talk to someone, and don’t forget: “boyfriends come and boyfriends go.” I hope I have helped in some way.
I’m 10 years old and would like for you to keep your eyes open for my cat, Blackie Boy.
I can tell by your letter that you’re very concerned about Blackie Boy. I hope that by the time you receive this letter Blackie Boy has made it home safely. I’ll sure keep my eyes open. If I see anything I’ll let you know. Don’t forget to look under the tree for your presents.
My name is Christina and I would like to have a magic tea party set and a lot of books for Papa to read to me.
P.S. Love Mom
Dear Christina and Mom,
Thank you for taking the time to write Santa up here at the North Pole. We have many very good books for Papa to read to you. Sometimes on really cold nights, Santa reads to Rudolph and the other reindeer. They enjoy the picture books most of all. How about you? I’m sure I can find some room in my bag for such special presents.
I am 7 years old and my name is Nichole. Could you please bring me a McDonald’s toy? I really want everybody to get along and love each other.
Santa is very proud of you and can tell by your letter that you are a very caring young lady. Santa also would like everybody to get along and love each other. As you get older, you have the opportunity to help fulfill your Christmas wish to Santa. To love someone is better than all the presents that Santa or his elves could ever bring.
How much it cost to make all the toys? Just send money to me so your elves don’t work too hard.
My friend Linda told me Rudolph bites her last year when you came to her house. Rudolph doesn’t bites her does he?
No, Rudolph doesn’t bite children. I think Linda was just kidding you. Better tell Linda if she keeps telling stories about Rudolph like that he just might fly past her house this year.
I know who you are. My mom told me. I promise not to tell anyone because Mom said the little kids don’t know it’s you.
P.S. Don’t forget my presents. I’ve been good this year.
I don’t believe you’re a real person and you don’t bring presents to the children around the world. But if you really do, bring me a Super Nintendo, a Boom box, a color TV for my room and new clothes.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what is real and what is not. Just because you can’t touch is or feel it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Whether you believe in Santa Claus or not doesn’t much matter. What matters is that you yourself believe in doing good things for your family and helping out where you can for those that are in need of your help. Don’t forget to check under the tree for presents again this year. I don’t believe I’ve missed your house yet.
How are you and the reindeer? Do you make wheelchairs at the North Pole? If you do, my friend Patty needs a new one. Hers is broken and not working. We are selling cakes at the store to try to get her a new one that has a battery so we can all go to the park and play. My mom says is costs $4,0000. We have made $300 so far. Can you help us please?
I am so sorry to tell you that we do no make wheelchairs here at the North Pole. I am very proud of what you are doing to help your neighbor and friend. Santa has your address and also a lot of friends. I am sure they will be willing to help in getting a new wheelchair for Patty. I will be contacting your Mom very soon. Thank you for trusting and believing in me.
I’ve been very good this year and I still believe that you are real. So I think I should get a present this year, don’t you? I would like to get these things – rings, earrings, pets, a horse a pig and a bird.
Thank you for still believing in me. If you believe your Dad is Santa Claus then you had better treat him extra good next year, for he will be able to tell if you’ve been good or bad. Either way, I’ll still call him and check in on you.
For Christmas, I want a Fast Track and a Super N.E.S., Turbo Grafex Sixteen. Merry Christmas and good night. Oh, ya, look by the fire, I might be able to get you a present. Thank you. How old are you?
Thank you for your letter. I almost didn’t receive it in time. We were loading up the sleigh and I stopped just long enough to write back to you. We loaded some of the presents you asked for. How old is Santa? I’m so old, I can’t remember anymore. Rudolph says I am older than Mrs. Claus but younger than the earth.
P.S. Thank you for thinking of Santa on Christmas, it means a lot to me.
What I want for Christmas is Magic Jewels, Radiant Red Barbie, Magical Barbie Motor Home, Troll Kid, Barbie clothes, clothes, Aladdin Barbie doll, Barbie furniture, puppy surprise, plaid shirt, tight blue jeans, magic erasers, Barbie house and other presents you bring me.
Last year you asked for a lot of Barbie clothes and toys also. You and Rudolph have something special in common. Rudolph also enjoys playing with Barbie and her friends. You should see Rudolph pulling Barbie and Ken around in their sports car across the snow and ice. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to go out with a toy tow truck and pull them out of a snow drift. I’ll try my best to pack up most of everything you asked for.
See you real soon.
I would like a camera and a thousand stickers. For my dad a tea plate and for Mom lipstick. For Ashley a squeeze ball and for Don an Aladdin tape.
And may all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
This year your letter was quite short compared to last year’s, how come? I will see what I can bring you this year. As for Mom, maybe along with the lipstick I will bring her a gallon of paint thinner to remove those stickers you have asked for.
(The front of the envelope read “Santa Claus ‘URGENT'”)
Smile now, cry later.
Well, how’s your year, mine’s been OK. Well, I am writing to you because there is some stuff I have to tell someone. I won’t tell my friends because they will tell. I have been having sex with a boy and I am 13 and I think I might be pregnant. Well, anyway, forget my problem. Well, got to go, it’s getting late.
I took my letter your wrote me last year to my classroom and I showed it to everyone. My teacher says she also knows where you live. The class is going to write to you. I really have been a pretty good boy all year so here is my list. Game Boy, Super Nintendo, Game Gear, computer, or whatever you want to give me. I will leave you and Rudolph cookies, candy canes and carrots. Please send me a letter again this year for my scrapbook. I have saved all of your other letters.
Thank you for taking the time and sharing your letter with your classmates. As of this writing I have already received 33 letters from the kids in your class and a real nice letter from Miss Woods. Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Dear Santa Claus,
My name is Lynn, I am 4 years old and my mom is writing this letter for me. I like to look at the lights and your picture at the house where your mailbox is. For Christmas I would like a car washer to wash my little toy cars. If you have room in your sleigh you can choose one other thing for me. It can be a surprise.
As for me, Santa, if in your magic red bag that never seems to go dry, you could find a cure for Lynn’s cancer, that’s all I would ever wish for. I know that’s not a fair request, I’m just out of places to turn. I do want to thank you for making Lynn’s Christmases so wonderful with the thousands of lights and the time you put into greeting everyone that comes to your home. For you truly are Santa Claus to Lynn. Thanks for brightening up her life.
Love, Lynn and Mom
How has your year been? Mine’s been OK. This is your busiest time of the year, isn’t it? How’s Mrs. Claus? I just want to thank you for the past years’ letters you wrote to me. Now I know you’re not a real person. I am 12 years old. If Santa was a real person, I know you would be him. I love you.
Thank you again this year for your letter. Last night I pulled all of your letters and reread them. Do you remember when you were 7 years old and you asked me to give your baby brother to another family as a present from Santa? Rudolph and I are still laughing about that one. Remember when you were 8 years old, you asked for extra presents for your baby brother because he was sick that Christmas? And when you were 9, you asked for red lipstick, redder than Rudolph’s nose. At 10, the clothes you asked for were a trip in themself. At 11, your letter changed. You started disbelieving, yet you still asked for presents. This year you don’t quite believe as you once did. But I promise you that if you get married and have some children of your own, you will start believing again and Santa will be here for you and your family.
Janice, I just want you to know, Santa loves you and is very proud of you. So, just because you stop believing doesn’t mean you have to stop writing, for we have become such good friends over the years. Hope to hear from you again.
Love, Santa, Mrs. Claus and Rudolph
My name is Brenda and I am 5 years old this year. Today my mom and I took a bag full of my own toys that I picked out myself to give to the boys and girls who have no toys. My mom is very proud of me, my mom says you are real. She says Santa Claus is a spirit who helps us to be loving and shows us how to give.
Your mother is so right. Santa Claus is a spirit of love, caring, sharing and helping for those in need. It makes Santa very proud that you yourself took the time to pick out some of your own special toys to give to those in need. You yourself just became a Santa Claus! We all have a Santa in us. For whatever reason, sometimes people just have a hard time letting the Santa in them show through. There are so many who need love, or just to be held when things are not going right. When their sun is not shining through (and yours is), share a little light, share a little tear with them. For the day will come when your sun doesn’t shine and someone around you will be a beacon of light. You can truly make a difference in this world.
Love always, Santa Claus
Thank you for replacing my broken doll last year. I didn’t mean to pull her head off. Her legs were another accident. Well, her arms, that’s another story. Her hair got caught in the scissors – it just wasn’t her day! Thank you for understanding, and I will try to be better this year. I promise.
Love, Janet and Mom
P.S. I am almost 5 now and know not to use scissors without Mom’s help.
Dear Janet and Mom,
Thank you for making Santa laugh. I am sure you have learned your lesson. Remember the elves work very hard to make your dolls and there just might not be any extra this year so take care of them.
How many Elves do you have? How many toys can they make? How much money to make the toys? Does Rudolph fly on regular or unleaded? Ha, Ha,
See you soon, John
Rudolph flies on carrots and grass. Santa makes sure he keeps his distance in flight. How many elves? So many I can’t keep count anymore. How many toys? Enough for all the children of the world.
Dear Santa and Family,
It is so nice of you to come visit our town. We know how busy you are at the North Pole this time of year, but you still take the time to give of yourself to all of our children. I have seen many Santas in my time. I am 73 years old. But none the likes of you. The love and gentleness that pours out of you to all who are around, it’s magical. I tell my friends that I have met the true Santa Claus and is truly more magical than the myth.
Love, Robert L.
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Claus,
I just wanted to drop you a special note to tell you how much we love everything you do for us. Last night it must have been 30 degrees outside, and for hours you stayed outside caring and listening to the hundreds of children with their lists. Your toes must have been frozen. While waiting in line to see you we heard nothing but compliments of how wonderful you are and the love you feel for all the children. It surprised us that you knew the name of our child even though it was our first visit ever. Care to tell me how you did that? We came by to visit you because a friend of ours travels some 40 miles every Christmas just to visit you. I must say you convinced me that you could be the real Santa. We are looking forward to next year’s visit. Amy said she saw Rudolph and the other reindeer grazing behind the fence just where you said they would be. Care to explain that one?
Love, the Johnson Family
I love you.
But wait. There’s one more special letter from Santa Claus.