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Stay-At-Home Dad: In their own words

Updated: January 17, 2013 6:17AM



I’ve ghostwritten letters to Santa for my two sons since they’ve been born. My streak ends this year.

My 6- and 5-year-old boys wrote their own letters to St. Nick last weekend. Bubba and Peter both asked for help spelling a few words. Their spelling and grammar still aren’t perfect, but I think Santa will get the message.

Sharing my contrived letters with readers had become a holiday staple. Honestly, I’ll miss corresponding with Santa on Bubba and Peter’s behalf. It’s always fun to write in someone else’s voice — particularly the voice of a child at Christmas.

But nothing beats the real thing. So I proudly present Bubba and Peter’s authentic letters to Santa (along with some explanation and commentary):

Dear Satnta

Is our Elf no the Shelf come

I want for CHriStAs Logeos. Vito Games!

Bubba

My boys were both concerned about our Elf on the Shelf. If you’re unaware, this holiday phenomenon involves a children’s book that’s sold with an accompanying elf doll. The book explains that the doll returns to the North Pole every evening to report to Santa on children’s behavior in the days leading up to Christmas.

We were late with putting up our decorations this year. Thus, the Ludwig elf was tucked away in the box with Christmas stockings and tree skirts. The elf emerged recently, and I must say Bubba’s letter added to the urgency.

Otherwise, Bub simply wants Legos and video games. No surprise there. In fact, I would have preferred a longer list. But encouraging a lengthy letter to Santa feels like fostering greed.

Here’s Pete’s letter:

DeAr SANTUA

I Wo A DOG

DOG TOYS

A FASHLIGHT

Peter

The chance of Peter getting a dog for Christmas is highly unlikely. I joked that Santa would never operate a puppy mill, but my attempt at humor sailed well over his head. I did think it was cute that he asked for dog toys for his new pet rather than something for himself.

The only other thing Petey wants is a flashlight. Had he asked, I would have given him one on the spot. Regardless, this seems like both a feasible and practical Christmas gift.

Santa will likely bring some additional presents, too. If you’re reading this column looking for gift ideas, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books, Pokemon cards, twistable colored pencils and skateboards have a good chance at also being under the Ludwig tree.

Indeed, Christmas morning is short-lived. It’s the buildup that I find most exciting. Writing letters to Santa, baking cookies, decorating the tree, attending holiday concerts and the other traditions that happen prior to Dec. 25 are my favorite parts of the holiday.

As my children grow up, some of these traditions will likely fade away or start to feel like a chore. Giving gift cards to disinterested teens is far less exciting than watching excited little boys unwrap skateboards.

And with that thought in mind, I wrote my own letter to Santa:

Dear Santa,

Please help me to hold onto these Christmas memories from when my kids are young.

Yours truly,

Howard A. Ludwig

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Howard A. Ludwig is a former SouthtownStar business reporter who traded his reporter’s notepad for a diaper bag, becoming a stay-at-home dad.

He can be reached at howardaludwig@yahoo.com.



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