Kids’ letters to Santa reveal the heartbreaking ways COVID-19 is affecting them and their holidays
There’s no denying the fact that the holidays this year are going to look different, no matter who you are, because of COVID-19. But as we talk about lockdowns and bans on gatherings and school closures, we might not always take into account that kids are small humans who are also hearing and being affected by this barrage of scary news and uncertainty.
Each year, the USPS collects letters from kids to Santa, and allows people to “adopt” them to buy presents for kids and families in need. This year’s letters are a heartbreaking glimpse into how the coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on kids, no matter how old they are.
One letter, from 13-year-old Raymond, states that he’s not a believer, but is writing to Santa on behalf of his two younger siblings. “I am asking you to help my mom for Christmas,” he writes. “Having us all home and not working do to COVID we could use some help.”
Another letter, from 11-year-old Lilly, begins with an update on her year. “I have not had a good year,” she tells Santa. “My grampa died and I could not see him because of COVID. I miss him and his big hugs.”
Another letter, shared on the USPS Instagram, comes from 4-year-old Adien, who also lost loved ones this year: His dad and grandpa. If you’re reaching for the tissues at this point, you are not alone.
In fact, several letters that the USPS posted to Instagram highlight how families are struggling financially because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This disease has killed nearly 300,000 people in the U.S. alone. It’s truly heartbreaking to think of how many families will be spending their holidays with that shadow hanging over what should be a time of hope and joy.
What might be the most heart-wrenching thing about these letters is some of the things kids are asking for Santa to bring them this year. Kaden wrote that the only thing he wants for Christmas is to “re-start fifth grade with no COVID.”
Jasmyne wrote that she wanted an X-Box for the holiday, but also “world peace,” “climate control,” and the “end of COVID-19.” If you think kids aren’t picking up on all the existential terrors we’re living through right now, you clearly aren’t paying attention.
There’s 4-year-old Barron, who starts his letter off with a no-nonsense ask: “Please make the coronavirus go away.”
And then there’s Jonathan, who, after assuring Santa that he’s been good all year, adds “mask” to the list of things he’d like this year.
Then there’s Savannah, who apologizes for being “bad” but explains “it’s really hard because of COVID-19 and online school.”
This is a holiday season like none we’ve ever experienced, and if anything proves that, it’s these letters. There’s no way to make COVID go away entirely, but if you’re one of the many people who doesn’t take the pandemic seriously and pushes back against measures like masking and socially distancing, maybe this will help you see why it’s so important that we all do our part.