By June Mathews
Special to The Tribune
I know it’s been a while since I’ve written – third grade to be exact.
That was the year I asked for an Easy-Bake Oven, and our snotty little neighbor got one instead.
I tried not to blame you. I told myself the elves must have mixed up the orders, or maybe your reindeer took you to the wrong address.
But either way, your management skills were clearly lacking, and my faith in you began to slide.
Honestly, I’d already begun to wonder if you truly existed. Scuttlebutt on the playground said you didn’t, and the Easy-Bake fiasco was enough to tip me over the edge of trust into full-blown skepticism. So when one of the older neighborhood kids flatly declared, “There’s no such thing as Santa Claus,” I was more than willing to go along.
But now I’m returning to the fold, humbly asking your forgiveness for several decades of naughty non-belief in your existence, and requesting your help with an important matter: Could you please send some of your elves to finish building our local library?
The project is well underway, and I know the mere humans involved are doing everything in their power to get the job done. But things are moving a little slower than anticipated, and I’m thinking a judicious sprinkling of magic dust might help.
When the library closed for a major re-do a while back, I was thrilled beyond words to see the work begin.
After all, a larger, state-of-the-art library was something that I, along with many others, felt we were lacking in our growing community.
A shiny new addition had already taken shape next door to the existing facility, and the time had come to shut down the old one for renovations and do whatever it took to connect the two.
But I never thought I could miss a building so much, even knowing it’ll reopen in due time. The thing is, I’m a book nerd, and for the local library to be even briefly unavailable can be a tough pill for somebody like me to swallow.
To my mind, there’s nothing quite so enjoyable as spending an hour or two browsing the stacks of a well-stocked library and turning the pages of old-fashioned, non-electronic, hold-in-your-hands books. If you’ve ever breathed in the scent of a library and thought it must surely be an aromatic hint of Heaven, you understand where I’m coming from.
At the same time, I realize sizable construction projects can’t be completed overnight, and that unexpected delays are bound to occur. So I don’t mean to be whiny. I just want the library back, and I suspect I’m not alone. I’m sure the library staff, for example, is more than ready to give up their cramped temporary quarters and take up residence in their roomy new work home.
As an added bonus, the sooner this project is completed, the sooner all the local Facebook complainers can move on to something else.
Oh, hey… if the elves are going to be in town anyway, could you please ask them to hit some of the more negative folks in town with a dump-truck load of happy dust? And I’m talking about the strong stuff. I don’t think the weaker version would work on this bunch.
In the meantime, like any true believer in Santa, I’ll try to be on my best behavior, which admittedly may not be all that good. As my past record proves, I’m not in much of a position to make rash promises about such things. But for the sake of the library, I’ll try.
In closing, let me say that I’m looking forward to writing next year’s letter to you from a computer station in our fabulous new facility.
And when it opens (which I’m certain will happen sooner rather than later, given my recent request and your magical powers), I’ll be sure to give credit where credit is due.
I hope you and Mrs. Claus have a Merry Christmas!
Email June Mathews at email@example.com.