Saturday, December 12, 2009

Letter To Santa

This year the holiday windows at Macy's tell a story of how children's letters get to Santa Claus. They are charming and imaginative. But one smaller window disturbed me a bit. I watched a grandmother help her granddaughters use a touch screen to send a "virtual letter" to Santa. I hope that children will continue to have the experience of writing on paper with an actual pencil or pen, making crisp creases in the paper so it fits the envelope, then carefully addressing the envelope. By the way, what is the zip code for the North Pole? There is something about tasting the glue as you lick and seal the envelope, and choosing the stamp (can't lick those any more...) It's harder now to find an actual mailbox, where the metal lid makes a satisfying clang after the letter drops in. Will children wonder whether Santa got their email the same way we wondered if the letter got to the North Pole? I really am not a Luddite, but we live so much of our lives in a virtual world. I hope that such a tactile memory can still be a part of a child's life.