Yet the letters also communicate heartfelt wishes that have nothing to do with holiday commercialism. The kids ask about Santa's reindeer, Mrs. Claus, and the elves. They remind us of the things that many of us take for granted - safe homes, cozy beds, warm coats.
My significant other and I read them aloud to each other as we go about our holiday bustling. And always, they make us laugh. Here's a recent favorite, with all due credit to Grace, the author:
I would like a teddy bear. Brother (name) would like Tothless. Brother (other name) would like alfa Tothless. Sister (name) would like Amaikin doll.
Dad and Mom would like to sleep.
How is Rudolph?
The next time I write anything, I hope to find the spirit of Grace's humor and love moving my pen.
Elizabeth Fountain is the author of An Alien's Guide to World Domination and You, Jane. She hasn't written a letter to Santa in years, but is considering composing one of her own for next year. You can find more of her work at http://lizfountain.wordpress.com