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Jolly Old St. Nick. St. Nicholas. Mr. Claus. Ho Ho. All are synonyms for Santa Claus, the man who brings magic to children all over the world each year at Christmastime.
Each year when the Letters to Santa start arriving at the Central Kentucky News-Journal's office, we are touched by the poignancy and trust expressed in these most personal of sentiments to Santa.
We're reminded of the plight of others less fortunate when we read letters that ask for nothing except a warm place for the homeless and food for the hungry. We're also reminded that Christmas is a time when we can really wish for the moon, evidenced by those lists to Santa that go on and on and on.
We're also reminded of our own childhoods when we read the ones that make us laugh.
We're guessing that you could open any newspaper's annual Letters to Santa section from anytime in history and have a fairly accurate gauge of what's going on in world affairs.
These young writers take the pain of war, the desperate need for a cure for cancer and the problems of poverty and, in their simple words, ask Santa to make their wishes come true ... peace on earth, the safe return of soldiers from war and food and shelter for all people.
And, as all children do, they ask for really cool gifts for themselves, their friends and their families.
To honor the winners and recognize the hard work of all the children, we're inviting them to share cookies and milk with Santa Claus himself at our office on Wednesday.
Santa will be here from 5 to 6 p.m. And we hope you will, too.