The Santa letter helped parents know what would make their children happiest on Christmas morning. That is, unless it went into an envelope before mom or dad could make a copy.
Although spiral paper and envelopes seem hopelessly low-tech, what with email letters that receive an instant reply, the US Postal Service is celebrating the 101st year of its charitable Letter to Santa Program.
Since 1912, all letters addressed to Santa stay in the local area. USPS “elves” open them and identify families in need. These families are assigned a number and are available to “adopt.”
If you’d like to help a family in your town or city, go to a participating post office, select one or more letters (with all identifying information blacked out) and go shopping.
Bring back the gifts, packaged for mailing, and the Postal Service will deliver them to the family. More details are found in this 100th Anniversary Video.
This is the true Spirit of Christmas.
A Skiing Family’s Letter to Santa
Guess what? This year we’ve been really good: really good at skiing and snowboarding and really good at scaring our parents when we catch huge air on jumps and rip turns through the trees.
Actually, they only say we scare them. We know they love it.
1) First on our list, is snow. Lots of it, starting now if you can. Snow, snow and more snow!
2) Next, because when it snows a lot our feet get wet, we want Ski Boot Dryers. While we know this is an odd request from children, who usually want toys like Legos (especially this year’s Winter Village Market, which looks like our favorite ski village), but we know we’ll use these after every ski day.
3) We also need boot backpacks. We have a lot of ski stuff and it’s hard to watch mom and dad try to carry all of it to the lodge. But we’re strong. We carry school backpacks every day. We can totally carry our ski boots and helmets in a Transpack Junior bag. Plus, they come in lots of cool colors and designs, so we can tell whose is whose!
If you think our parents need their own packs, there are good ones for adults from Transpack and Kulkea.
4) Did you know our mom has dropped two cameras off of chairlifts? She also has lost a phone. Could you please bring her a myBunjee cell phone/camera cord? It will slip onto her phone and then clip to her jacket, so she’ll never be able to drop it off the lift again.
5) The Winter Olympics are coming, Santa, and we really want to help Team USA win lots of gold medals.
That’s why we would love some US Olympic pins and gear. It’s totally fun to collect the pins and maybe someday we’ll compete in an Olympics and we can trade them with friends from around the world.
Plus, anything we get from the Team USA shop helps our athletes!
And while mom is not thrilled when we spend lots of time gaming, I know she wants us to get the Wii U Mario and Sonic at the Winter Games Sochi 2014 game. The graphics are based on the actual venues at Sochi and we can compete in sports like downhill racing, ice hockey, luge and more!
6) One thing mom and dad DO like is reading.
We just heard about a fun book for kids: Here Come the Little Rippers! by Rebecca Munsterer. The first book in a series about kids, just like us, who love to ski. Volume 1 takes place on a snowy Vermont weekend when Max and Molly are visiting their grandfather. Usually he skis with them, but his year he’s injured, so they have to ski with a kids’ group. Adventures, misunderstandings, mishaps and a happy ending ensue.
In the back there are also descriptions of chairlift games, ski-inspired crafts and a recipe for ski day Lumberjack pancakes!
A book we think our mom would like (and so would our teenage cousins), is Shut Up and Ski: Wipeouts, Shootouts and Blowouts on the Trail to the Olympic Dream. A blogger our mom knows says it’s one of the most enjoyable ski novels she’s ever read.
The author, Edie Thys Morgan, was an Olympic downhill racer in the 1980s. This book is fiction, the story of a young downhiller trying to make it on the World Cup circuit and to the Calgary games with her dignity, friendships and body intact.
Another book our parents would like is called Beyond Birkie Fever, by Walter Rhein. Our parents like cross-country skiing (Not us! We want to race downhill!).
This book shares how the author got involved in long-distance nordic racing. His mom inspired him, but he didn’t really like cross-country until he entered his first American Birkebeiner race — a long-distance race held in Wisconsin each year.
Our mom says that she’s going to train for the Birkie when we go to college. She says, by then, we might even want to xc ski with her.
7) That reminds us. When we do go cross-country skiing, the hot chocolate breaks are our favorite part! But we don’t like sharing the thermos cup and having to wait for our turn.
So, we think it would be great to get some nifty outdoor cups. They need to be lightweight and cool-looking. We like these cups, bowls and cutlery from Kupilka. They look like wood, but they are a super-strong composite of wood and plastic. We can just tie them onto our packs or put them in a pocket. And in summer, they’ll work great for camping and backpacking!
8) Sorry Santa! This list is getting long, but we’ve only got two more items. First, we want our own ski runs. While it would be best if they were in our backyard, those would only be greens and we want double blacks! Can’t you just see the sign: “Ski Kids Chutes”?
If your elves don’t mind, there is a man in Montana who makes personalized signs, even if we don’t have our own runs. He makes signs for fishing, for hiking trails and for ski runs that we can hang in our bedrooms!
Here’s a video that shows what he does and since you’ll have to buy the signs from him, you’ll get $10 off if you use this code: “braveskimom2013.”
9) We’ve saved something special for last, Santa! The Snowmule* is a clever backpack everyone in our family will love! When we are skiing and we get stuck on a catwalk, mom and dad won’t have to push us or tow us with a pole anymore. Instead, the pack has two retractable handles that we can hold onto — at least until we weigh 50 pounds each. After that, we’ll have to scoot along on our own!
Once we’re too big, the cassette holding the handles pops and out and Snowmule is a gear pack. Mom and dad are excited about strapping their skis onto it and hiking Highland Bowl!
Mom even called it “the best idea, ever!”
Well Santa, that’s all from us! Thanks so much for reading our letter!
And remember, what we want most, is SNOW!
Love, The Ski Kids
Active Junky Gift Card Giveaway
Since Santa can’t deliver everything, start your search at ActiveJunky and get money back.
We tried ActiveJunky recently and scored some great prices on the Backcountry.com site. Within an hour, we received an email telling us we’d get an additional $28 back from ActiveJunky.
Now we’re all about shopping the sites we’d be shopping anyway through ActiveJunky.com.
A couple of the items on this list are available through ActiveJunky.
For example, look for the Thermic Air boot dryers at Skis.com. Just remember go to ActiveJunky.com first, then enter Skis.com to save additional money.
ActiveJunky has graciously donated two $50 gift cards to readers of Braveskimom.
Two winners will be chosen from all entries received on Monday, December 2nd.
To facilitate this post, I received review products from Kulkea, Transpack, myBunjee, , Kupilka, Snowmule and a copy of each of the books mentioned. As always, all opinions are my own and are exactly what I would tell my family and friends.
Other Gift Guide Posts from My Friends:
- Best Gifts for Outdoorsy Families 2013, Tales of a Mountain Mama (Wizbang Hats, Teton Sports, Sierra Trading Posts Giveaways).
- Holiday Gift Guide, Go Adventure Mom.
- An All Weather Gift Guide for All Year Adventures, Cragmama.
- Holiday Gifts for Outdoor Conscious Families, AK on the Go.
- The 10 Essentials Gift Guide for Outdoor Loving Mothers, AKSkeddale.
- Five Great Christmas Gift Ideas for the Outdoorsy Kids, Rain or Shine Mamma (Hanna Anderssen Giveaway).
- Snow Warm! An Outdoor Mom’s Christmas Wish List, Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies.
- A Week of Christmas Gift Ideas and Giveaways, Bring the Kids.
- Christmas Gifts for Skiing Families, November 20, 2012.
- Just One Gift (Happy Holidays and Book Review), December 19, 2012.
- ‘Tis the Gift-Giving Season: Suggestions for Skiing Families, November 22, 2011.
- Merry Christmas with a Beat, December 22, 2010.
© 2013 – 2014, Kristen Lummis. All rights reserved. Any use or publication of content, including photos, requires express permission.