NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – I watched the movie “The Santa Suit’’ Saturday morning, a day after interviewing local Marines who conduct a Toys for Kids & Teens drive before Christmas each year.
It occurred to me, as I watched the movie and mulled over how I’d write the toy drive story, that each of us has a responsibility at Christmas. Unlike the movie, our teacher isn’t the real Santa, but people like those Marines who want every child to have a happy holiday memory.
A line in the movie, which I’ll paraphrase here, really touched me: Maybe it’s better that she knows Santa isn’t real than to think Santa plays favorites.
That’s a sadly interesting thought.
Every Christmas, children living in families with means see their wishes come true, unlike those whose parents struggle financially.
When kids return to school after the holiday break, some will brag Santa brought them the awesome bike they’d asked for, or a computer or cell phone; another will wonder why they’d only gotten socks and underwear.
Children learn all too soon that the story of Santa and his toy-making elves is just a fanciful myth. Once a child learns Santa isn’t real, they lose a bit of innocence. To think Santa plays favorites is worse. They lose trust.
As I left the collection and drop off center of the Blackstone Valley Detachment 911 Marine Corp League on Friday, a young mom stood hesitantly on the front steps. “Is there where they give away toys?’’ she asked.
Five weeks before Christmas, she and thousands of other moms and dads are worried they can’t be the Santa they’d like to be for their kids
It doesn’t seem fair, does it?
But we can help.
Any donation, large or small – toys, gift cards or cash – is welcome at any of the holiday collections under way in this country today. The donation can be as simple as a pair of mittens, or as extravagant as a bicycle.
That Santa suit is one-size fits all. Each one of us has the opportunity to help fulfill the wishes of a child this holiday season.
Donations to the Toys for Kids and Teens drive may be left in any of the collection boxes scattered throughout the Blackstone Valley or brought to the drop-off center at 111 South Main St. in Uxbridge.