I love giving gifts. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Sure, it’s fun to open your own gifts and be surprised. But even more fun to me is mulling over ideas, tracking down that perfect find, wrapping it up, and watching someone else happily open it. Extra points if they didn’t expect it. This applies to pretty much any holiday, birthday party, vacation trinket, or those random times I buy Snickers bars out of the vending machine at work and wrap them in notepaper for Tyler.

My next favorite thing is subtly coercing the boys into growing this same love inside them. For birthdays and holidays that means having private conversations to prod their own ideas, sometimes sharing pre-planned ideas in their price bracket. For Christmas it means I’ve tried every year to help them shop for a giving tree gift.

When we lived in Utah we’d go to the mall, pick an ornament off the tree and go out shopping. Since living in mostly mall-less New York, I’ve found it slightly harder to find a place to do this. Last year I mostly gave up and sent money to my awesome sister who collects it and buys Sub for Santa presents with a friend. But how can the boys really learn love giving without me forcing a shopping trip on them?

So this year I decided to search around a little more, and ta-da! Did you know you can go to the post office and pick up an actual letter to Santa? Because I didn’t. Nor did I know the post office sorts through half a million Santa letters in New York alone. And all we have to do is visit the post office, pick up a letter (or 10) and Santa shop away!

On a slightly related note, I watched the original Miracle on 34th Street with the boys Sunday for the first time.

Also, this is one of my favorite Santa letters.

santa letter

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