From the desk of Santa Claus:

The events of September 11th obviously took their toll on even those of us working here at North Pole Headquarters. While my Elves may be hard-working, they are also quite sensible when it comes to dealing with human tragedy. Indeed, shortly after the tragedy, we received word that, in light of ongoing security concerns, certain letters addressed to me would probably not even make it to Dooley's Mailbox that dark and fateful year. The irony: a good many of these letters are written by several of you who have indeed been quite good!

So in light of that crisis, my pals asked me to address you who might have been concerned that I might not make the 2001 Christmas Eve journey. Well, naturally, not even a few meanies could stop ol' Santa from upholding his traditions! If you will recall from my first encounter with the Ancient One, Master Elf of all the Vendequm, and all the encounters that have followed since, I have been granted the power to cause Time to travel with me each Christmas Eve; that will no doubt continue to be the case.

Just because there are wars going on in the world of the Humans doesn't mean that I can't get on with my journeys every Twenty-fourth of December. So let me once more assure you that I shall resume my flights each and every Christmas Eve --- the way I have always done, and will continue to do! Pinkie-swear! (Heh-heh!)

Besides, I have always kept my promises; I still believe that when you make a promise to someone special that you love dearly, you are committed to keeping that promise, no matter what. There was a wonderful drama a few years ago entitled Radio Flyer, wherein the narrator of the tale, portrayed by an uncredited Tom Hanks, said some words that I found to be most eloquent. Here's what he said:

"It only takes a second to say the words I promise; but the commitment can last you the rest of your life." As I happen to be Santa Claus, that commitment lasts for an eternity; and by the miracles of the Eternals, that's exactly how it's going to stay!

And, with your help (and your good hearts), it will indeed be the case! So, as always, dear children, dream good dreams and think good thoughts --- and maybe, just maybe, the most remarkable wishes can come true! Merry Christmas, and joyful dreams to each and all!

Forever and always,


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