The newsroom has been busy the past week typing letters to Santa that area school children have submitted. Letters to Santa will appear in Sunday’s paper.

Some of the letters are humorous and have made the news staff giggle endlessly. Some of the children’s letters to Santa are requesting they find a laptop, razor phone, or ipod under their tree Christmas morning. Some of the toys being asked for are digital or electronic items, such as Webkinz or Nintendo DS, that most adults would never have imagined possible when they were children. And then there are some children that still want more traditional items from Santa, like a baby doll or a puppy dog. It is interesting to read the letters to Santa and wonder where kids come up with some of the things they say. Most of their letters want to know about Rudolph or the elves or Mrs. Claus.

Sadly enough there are also a few letters from area children that are wishing not for the newest toy or a snuggly puppy but for their grandma, and want Santa to tell her hello, or for a brother to come home if only for Christmas day. The most desperate of them ask Santa Claus for food so their family will not go hungry, or money for a better place to live.

These children have the worries of the world on their small shoulders, and while they still believe in the magic of Christmas, it is not the magic of endless toys and fun that mesmerize most children. Their belief in Christmas and Santa Claus is the belief in miracles.

It is the responsibility of the community to see that these children don’t fall through the cracks and become just another statistic. Ada is blessed to have programs at Christmas such as the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree, which provided gifts to almost 500 local children, and the Spirit of Christmas, which is a not-for-profit organization of city of Ada employees, who provided presents to 373 children this year. The efforts of these two organizations and countless others (Toys for Tots, local businesses, social clubs, and churches) are nothing short of heroic and couldn’t be possible without the efforts of concerned individuals within the community. Their efforts enable children to believe in the magic of Christmas a little bit longer.

While children in need can believe in the magic of Christmas for another year, it is their belief in miracles that cannot falter. It is the belief in miracles and the hope that things will get better that sustains people during hard times and bad situations. What happens to children at the ages of 5 or 8 who no longer have hope? What are the prospects for their future?

It is the Salvation Army’s slogan that “Need knows no season.” As a community that should become our motto. Toys, clothes, and food at Christmas time do not sustain individuals throughout the year. These things once a year cannot fill the void of a loved one who has died or a parent that has left. They cannot quell the hunger pains of a child in the month of June or September or provide adequate shelter during the cold months of January and February.

As a community we need to maintain the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of giving throughout the year and remember, “Need knows no season.”

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