They put me on TV because they think I’m Santa Claus?!

Well, at least the pen of Santa. Or the keyboard . . .

My friends the Stapleys came up with Santa’s Red Letter a few years ago, letting Santa write back to kids (and adults, groups, etc.). Last year they asked me to compose the letter templates customers could choose from, and I wrote them more this year. Here, check it out for yourself by clicking on the image for the TV clip:

Red Letter video

I’ve written before that we personally don’t do Santa at our house, but I agreed to help the Stapleys because of something that’s left out of this piece: for every letter the Stapleys sell and send, they donate $1 to Toys for Tots.

Last year they sold thousands of letters, and this year they’re on track to exceed last year’s total. That means that they’re spending thousands of dollars on Toys for Tots in a couple of weeks, all funded through YOUR Santa Letter requests. 

Craig and Crystal take their five kids with them to find the best and most appealing toys for boys and girls of all ages, then their kids put them in the Toys for Tots boxes and have that memory of giving for rest of their lives.

About us  

That example’s inspired me to take some of the profits from my Etsy shop to do the same thing with our kids in a few weeks–go shopping for Toys for Tots. While my success isn’t nearly as big as the Stapleys, we’re doing much better than we have in years past (as I wrote about in my last blog entry).

So start a new tradition this year–a lot of the Stapleys’ customers are returning ones–add some magic to someone’s year, and help Toys for Tots all at the same time. 

I decided that since the reporter and photographer had taken a lot of pictures of us, we could turn around and do the same thing to them. Here the reporter is talking to Crystal’s mail box. No word on if it answered.

Whew! I’m so glad that TV bit is over. I was sick to my stomach the entire morning before I went over for the interview, then when Crystal told me yesterday it was going to air, I was sick all over again.

My teenage daughter said she could feel my stress radiating from me as I sat in the dining room–the living room was too close to the TV–to watch my very first time on the screen.

It went ok, it went ok, it went ok . . .

This is why I’m not a huge movie star. I can’t take the pressure, no matter how lightly applied.

I’m nothing like confident Mahrree. I tried her routine below, but it didn’t work. I just wanted to vomit instead.

Mahrree went through her pre-debate routine: she stood back up, shook out her hands, rubbed her cheeks with her fingers, tucked her hair behind her ears again, smoothed down her skirt, and waited for the rector to introduce her. When she heard her name called she marched confidently up the steps and on to the platform, to the applause of the crowd. She waved genially to them as she had dozens of times before and waited for the next introduction. ~Book One, The Forest at the Edge of the World

The best Christmas idea in years

Normally I don’t pitch products on my website, but this time I’m making an exception, because this is a truly clever idea (one that makes you think, Daggum, why didn’t I come up with this?), and because I was asked to contribute to it.

Santa’s Red Letter is a marvelous service created by my neighbors (Craig’s an uber- talented graphic designer). How cool would it be to receive a customized letter, with a gold signature, from Santa himself?

Yeah, great idea, isn’t it? (You’re saying, Daggum! in your head, aren’t you?)

The best part is, the receivers of these letters won’t know it came from you and will be amazed to receive a lush, gorgeous message from the North Pole complete with their names and even a few personalized details.

Actually, the very best part is that $1 from each letter goes to the Toys for Tots program, so not only can you send a piece of magic for Christmas, but a needy child gets a bit of magic as well.

Toys For Tots

My neighbors and my children’s friends, the Stapleys, teaching their kids to buy presents for others. Seriously, how cute are they?

So why do I care? Because this year the Stapleys tasked me to write up the letters, and I’ll tell you, mentally putting myself in the very ample pants of Santa was quite the experience. I chanted in my head, “I’m a fat old elf, and I’m happy to write to this sweet little girl . . .” or “I’m a jolly old elf pretty ticked off with James in Centerville . . .”

Nice LettersThere are two categories of letters you can choose from. Red Letters are for Nice children and adults, and even groups. We came up with 14 different kinds, for a variety of situations. For example, how fun would it be for a school or church group to receive a letter from Santa thanking them for completing a Secret Santa project?

I also thought about kids who sincerely try to do something good this season, and how delighted they’d be to realize that Santa noticed:

And if you have a child asking for a hard-to-get item this year (that maybe not even Santa might be able to find)? We came up with a letter for that, too:

And then . . .

Naughty LettersAnd then, I had the delicious delight to think about, What if Santa was pretty disappointed with a child or—even better—an adult? We came up with seven Black Letters (cue the ominous music), and yes, as I penned these, I thought about people I knew who deserved a tsk-tsking from Santa. Here’s my favorite: Seriously, my Hall of Shame letter still makes me chuckle, and surely you know of adults who really deserves to find this in their mailboxes!

There are also letters for kids who have far too many items on their wish lists, kids who have been treading in Naughty territory and need a nudging back to the Nice side, and even congratulatory and surprise letters for adults.

No, I’m not getting any kickbacks from this website, but I do get a kick thinking about kids and adults who’ll have a fun shock from receiving a letter from Santa.
And I get an even larger kick that last year the Stapleys spent well over $200 on Toys for Tots from this project.

This Christmas, let’s make that donation even larger.
So send someone a letter (each is only $11.95). Amaze your friends and family.
Have a blast.
And start having a Merry Christmas!


What if Santa Wrote Back?