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Christmas – a magical time of year for children

By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. The house gets decorated with lights, stockings get hung on the fireplace, gifts are under the tree and I get to spend a few days with family. One of the things I love about Christmas is seeing how excited the children get. It’s a magical time of year for them – dreaming of Santa and his reindeers landing on the rooftops, getting to open gifts of toys and games and the sugar high that comes with all the holiday sweets. In this week’s Placer Herald, we have a story about that magic of Christmas and how a postal worker’s role changes come holiday time. In addition to sorting through the everyday mail, packages and catalogs, postal workers sort through the many letters to Santa, addressed to the North Pole. But the post office isn’t the only spot that intercepts letters to the North Pole. Here at The Placer Herald, we recently received a letter to Santa from a boy named Matthew. Matthew wrote: “Dear Santa, How are you and your reindeer? I have been a very good boy. I would like to have Thunder Driller, Titanium Command Rig, Indiana Jones Temple of Doom, a globe. Merry Christmas. Love, Matthew.” Receiving the letter at the office reminded me of what a fun time Christmas really is for children. I remember my sister and I would set out a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies and a glass of cold milk for Santa and we would always find evidence that he was there by a half eaten cookie left behind. I also remember waking up to overflowing stockings after being empty just hours before at bedtime. It’s things like that, that children remember at Christmas time. I couldn’t tell you one toy I know for sure I got as a Christmas gift when I was younger. Although I’m sure I was excited at the time, it’s not the gifts children remember for years afterward. It’s the traditions of opening presents dressed in pajamas, eating coffee cake and gathering at East Lake for their annual boat parade that I remember most. Over the years, it’s been harder and harder to get together as a family. Now, my sister and I both have in-laws, which makes seeing each other much more meaningful, especially come Christmas time. Last year, I played host for the Christmas festivities, which panned out to be a lot of work. But this year, I will be gladly stepping aside as my mom plays host for a larger-than-usual crowd. With all of us coming from across California, I’m looking forward to a fun and relaxing holiday. And even though I’m getting older, I’ll still listen for Santa’s sleigh bells at midnight on Christmas Eve.