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HOW ARE YOU? I am fine (better than last month). Is it cold up there at the North Pole? I bet you worry about global warming. Long ago a teacher told me there’s no land at the Pole. So you’re living on an ice pack in the open sea. If it melts, your house and your factory will plop into the ocean—KACHUNK. I hope Mrs. Claus and the elves can swim. I know the reindeer can.

Maybe you should build an ark or something. But I guess you don’t have wood. Does your sleigh burn fossil fuels, or does it run only on kids’ dreams?

When I was little my mom taught me to say thanks for last year before I start begging for this Christmas. So thanks for all the Banner readers who gave goats and pigs and stuff to people who need them. And thanks for all the Banner readers who wrote a card to help people who are put in jail because they love Jesus. That was really awesome.

It was hard to decide what I want this year. At first I thought, “Hey, I’m moving to Edmonton,

Alberta. Up there it’s almost as cold as where you live. I could use some thermal underwear.” But I hate getting underwear for Christmas. Then I thought of mitts. But you’d probably send me dorky ones like the kind Aunt Ethel bought me with those pink ducks on them. No thanks!

I didn’t know what I wanted for Christmas until I saw what Ryan Reed sent us about Darfur (see p. 36). Then I knew in a heartbeat. I desperately want there to be peace in Darfur. I want refugees to be able to return to their homes and to live in them safely.

I know, Santa, that there’s not much even you can do about it. I suppose you could make an extra run or two out there on your sleigh. (You’d have to pitch the toys in favor of food, water, and medicine.) Seems like there isn’t much any of us can do about it at this point—nothing that will make much of a difference. Not even the governments dare to do much.

Maybe we need to send our wishes to a place that’s even higher than the North Pole. I know that God will pay attention because he loves refugees very much—his own Son was a refugee too (see Matt. 2), and God helped him out. He called him out of Egypt like he did his people hundreds of years earlier.

So here’s my wish list for this year, Santa:

  • More goats and pigs for AIDS orphans in Africa (see
  • Letters to government officials, asking them to treat prisoners of conscience fairly
  • (
  • Prayers to God for the people of Darfur.

If we all told God every day of Advent that we’re trying to help Darfur but it’s not working too well, maybe God will move some mountains for us (see Mark 11:22-23). And maybe God will show us what more we can do to make a bigger difference.

That’s all I want for Christmas, Santa. I mean it.

Stay warm up there—but not too warm.

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