Sometime after you have children, your expectations of Christmas change.  I’ll admit that even into my early 20s, I really looked forward to seeing what gifts I would receive on Christmas morning.  Once I had my wonderful children, the focus immediately changed from my enjoyment of Christmas to their enjoyment of Christmas.  I find that that feeling has grown each year.  This year that was especially true, as it has been a difficult year for all of us.

The most poignant moment of Christmas this year came in the form of my daughter’s Christmas letter to Santa.  Katie is eight now, and in some earlier conversations this year, you can see the cracks in the foundation of belief.  Brendan, age five, is still in solid Santa territory, but I wondered if she was just keeping up appearances for her brother’s sake.

On Christmas Eve, Katie spent some time that afternoon crafting a rather lengthy letter to Santa.  She’s a super-smart, ultra-polite kid and she had some questions for the big man.


Here is the text of the main letter:

Dear Santa,

My name is Katie, but I know you know that and I know that you know what I want for Christmas.  So that’s not why I’m writing you this letter.  I just want too ask a few questions if you don’t mind.  How many toys can one elf make in a day?  How many elfs do you have?  Where do you find elfs?  How dose (does) your slegh (sleigh) fly if it’s the raindeer (reindeer) then how do they fly?  Do the raindeer like to fly?  I am sorry if I asked to many questions.



Now, aside from the grammar and spelling errors, this is a very complicated letter for Santa and his 6 foot 2, midwestern elf who crafts response letters to answer. BUT THEN THERE WAS THE PS.

So, about an hour later, Katie inserted a scrap of paper into the handcrafted envelope on the mantel.  I was told I should check it out by my sister-in-law.  And there it was:


I just lost it right there.  Normally, I’ve been able to keep it all together this year concerning the diabetes.  Yes, it totally sucks, and I am so grateful to live in a world where Type 1 Diabetes is manageable, but there is no escaping it.

Even on Christmas.

I am pretty sure I know where the question came from.  Katie and I both LOVE the movie Elf, and if you have seen the movie, you know that Buddy and his elf kindred eat nothing but the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup.  I imagine she was curious HOW an elf would be able to manage diabetes.

Anyway, Santa’s 6 foot 2 midwestern elf took dictation from the big man himself and crafted a response letter answering the questions which you can see below.


In case you can’t see it, the letter reads as follows:

Dearest Katie and Brendan,

You have both been So Good this year!  Katie, I know it has been a rough year, and I am so proud of your bravery.  Brendan, you too have been such a wonderful and loving boy!  I am proud of you too!  I have little time, so I’ll answer questions quickly!

I have 10,000 elves who make 200 toys a day.  That’s 700 million toys a year!  Elves come from every country on Earth!  Reindeer love to fly and I raise them on a secret farm!  (I won”t tell you where!)  As to your last question, yes, some elves have diabetes.  It is difficult for them as they love sweets.  I think they are some of my bravest elves, but like you, they have great spirits, and a Wonderful attitude!  Brendan, keep up the good work in kindergarten!

Merry Christmas,


Overall, I don’t know much longer Santa will be a part of Katie’s life.  But, I will say that her letter will be the most lasting memory I have of this Christmas.

If you have a child with Type 1 in your family, you know Christmas can be a difficult time.  However, as Katie reminds us, elves would have an even more difficult time with type 1.  I think the important thing is to be like Buddy.  Keep a positive attitude, sing loudly, and enjoy life as best you can.  I know Katie is following that path.  I hope your family had a marvelous Christmas, and here is wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year.