Family / Parenting

Holiday Inclusion

I’m writing this post on the first night of Chanukah, not a holiday celebrated in my household, but given the title of the post, seems like something I ought to acknowledge. Indeed, my family put up our Christmas tree this afternoon, after my 4 year old and I got home from their school’s fundraising Weihnachtsmarkt. I even baked, although I don’t know of a traditional Christmas s’more pie. I just had a sudden, burning desire for toasted marshmallows and chocolate.

Christmas S'mores Pie

Those aren’t why I’m writing.

After the kids went to bed, I got online to do some casual web surfing, and hit one of my favorite places on the Internet, Regretsy. In addition to making snarky comments about ugly/exploitive/fake crafts, they also give a ton back to the community of artisans and craftmakers on Etsy. In fact, they’ve raised money to give beautiful Christmas mornings to 200 needy children and families. One of the donated items, linked to in the post, is a personalized letter from Santa for each child.

I clicked the link.

I was kind of curious, kind of skeptical, prepared to be snarky.

Instead, my eyes welled up and I interrupted my wife to tell her this whole story. And email the shop owner to say thank you.

The shop owner, Angelia Paulin, outlines an effortlessly inclusive list of information Santa needs for the letter:

-Name of child (first and last)
-Age
-Gender of the child
-Name & gender of any sibling the buyer wants mentioned
-Name and type of pets
-Who is in the household? (one parent, both, two dads or moms, being raised by relatives, foster child, etc.)
-Did they get a letter last year?
*Address of child if different from your own

Did you catch that? I’ll repeat the part that made me get all emotional: Who is in the household? (one parent, both, two dads or moms, being raised by relatives, foster child, etc.)

There’s a level on which it sucks that I can be so moved by being treated like any other family. But the fact is, I am.

And it is such a simple act, but it makes such a difference. I’m sure that single parents, grandparents raising children, and foster families read this and feel that same sense of “thank god I don’t have to EXPLAIN anything here” welcome.

It’s the difference between tolerance and being included.

Ms. Paulin, thank you again.

No Comments

  1. How beautiful would it be if this were the rule, not an exception?

    The world IS full of wonderful people, yourself and this seller included, they just sometimes get obscured by all the noise and the lights and the anger. It’s times like these when they shine through in spite of that and restore some hope and happiness.

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

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