Being Santa Claus is exhausting.
Magic or not, the big man has his work cut out for him come December. Between wrapping and delivering presents, making appearances in malls and Christmas parades across the country and working off all that excess cookie weight, the big guy could use a little help. And that’s where the 93 students of Buffalo High School’s Future Business Leaders of America come in.
“We’ve been helping the kindergartners write letters to Santa for 16 years now – since my daughter was in kindergarten,” FBLA adviser Michelle Dahlberg said. “This is something that we love doing every year. It’s always so much fun, and it’s a lot of fun to read what the kids write.”
FBLA members visited Meadowlark Elementary School on Dec. 6 to help the kindergartners draft letters to Santa. They left with the promise to deliver the letters to Santa and his elves personally. They will return to the school in this week with responses from Old St. Nick. Think of them as the North Pole postal service.
While the kindergartners wrote the letters themselves, the high schoolers gave them spelling guidance and other suggestions: “Maybe it would be nice to ask Santa how he’s doing?” “Maybe you should check in on the elves?”
Some of the kindergartners attempted a little small talk before getting to the point of their letter.
“Dear Santa, How are the reindeer?“ Brinley Misslin asks before requesting some Hot Wheels cars and books.
Others are more to the point.
“Dear Santa, I would like my own makeup set and books,” Kate Jones writes.
The kids ask about the reindeer and the elves and Santa’s summer break. At least one is concerned about the working conditions at the North Pole.
“Do the elves go on breaks?” Preah Tobiasson asks.
And with Christmas fast approaching, many kindergartners use the time with the high schoolers to make sure Santa has his facts straight.
“I am taking care of myself,” Kelsey Kay writes. “Is my elf giving you a good report?”
According to senior Kylie Pettyjohn, these simple letters mean the world to Johnson County’s youngest learners.
“I was helping Lyvee Fox write her letter and she wanted to ask whether Santa liked the cookies she left out every year,” Pettyjohn said. “These kids have all kinds of interesting questions, and since they obviously can’t talk to Santa themselves, we step up to help.”
The letters also help foster a different kind of connection, Pettyjohn said.
“It’s a cool opportunity for us to make a connection with the littler kids,” Pettyjohn said. “So many of them look up to us, but we might seem a little intimidating when they see us around town. So this is a time to build relationships while helping them answer some important Christmas questions.”