Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, December 19, 2019

A Christmas Wish

Dear Santa,

We don’t have money for a Christmas tree.

We can’t buy presents for Mommy or me.


I’ve heard of the magic you can do,

so I’m writing this secret note to you.

(Mommy would worry if she knew.)


when she thinks I'm sleeping, I

hear my Mommy sit alone and cry.

Please help her find a job and then

maybe she will smile again.

And Santa, 

if you could bring me just one thing, 

this is what I would choose

one pair of not-too-tight

fit me just right 


I know you have a lot of letters to read,

and there are things that other kids need.

So if you can’t make my wishes come true—

it's okay.

I'll still believe

in you.

©Linda Kulp Trout

Well, the poem still needs work, but I wanted to share it today because the topic is important to me.

Years ago, I overheard a conversation in my fifth-grade classroom that broke my heart.  A group of girls were talking about making their wish list for Christmas. One little girl just sat there listening. When her friend asked what was on her Christmas list, “J” lowered her eyes and said, “I don’t make a list anymore.”  Of course, the other girls wanted to know why.  “J” whispered, “We don’t have any money for presents.”  The bell rang, and the conversation ended, but “J’s” words stayed with me.

I knew “J’s” family and the hard times they’d been through.  Each year our faculty adopted several families in our school community for Christmas. That year, “J’s” family was one of them.  I’m sure there were many families like hers that we didn’t know about.

According to the Children’s Defense Fund, “about 1 in 6 children in America live in poverty.”  Those of us who are teachers don’t need statistics because these children are in our classrooms, and we see their struggle every day. Many of them are too afraid or too ashamed to ask for help.  I know I was. 

Growing up, I never wanted anyone to know how poor we were.  But I was one of the lucky ones. We were a big family, but no matter how tight money was, my mother somehow found a way to put presents of some sort under the tree.  

I’m grateful for the work of groups like The Salvation Army and Toys for Tots that help ensure millions of children have a gift to open Christmas morning. Still, I can’t help thinking about all the children who will wake up on Christmas without a single gift to unwrap.

A big thank you to my very talented friend, Buffy for hosting this week's Poetry Friday-The Almost Solstice Edition!

I wish all of you a joyous holiday and a happy, healthy new year!