Every year, millions of children around the world break out the paper and their crayons and pen letters to Santa Claus, asking for all manner of toys, trinkets, and the latest fads. What’s unexpected, however, is for grown adults to be writing their own letters to Santa Claus, but that’s exactly what happened this year. To mark this year’s National Letter Writing Day, big name celebrities like Benedict Cumberbatch, Annie Lennox, and Thom Yorke have put pen to paper and inked out some letters to Santa, which have now been posted on the Letters Live website.
Letters Live is an event that “celebrates the enduring power of literary correspondence,” which features different surprise guests every night who read aloud handwritten letters. This year, to celebrate National Letter Writing Day, which falls on December 7, the creators of the event have enlisted the help of some of their celebrity fans, and asked them to write letters to everyone’s favorite holly jolly man, Santa Claus.
What came of the celebrity Santa Claus letter writing campaign are a bunch of handwritten notes that are sometimes funny, oftentimes moving, and always smile-inducing.
One of the big name celebrities to contribute by writing an incredibly touching letter to Santa Claus is everyone’s favorite Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch, reports USA Today. Benedict begins his letter to Santa — or Father Christmas, as he calls him — by musing over the idea that it’s difficult to write a letter to Santa as an adult, because “our time with you is surely done.”
After a paragraph discussing the bastardization of Santa by big corporations searching only for the almighty dollar, Benedict gets to the real reason he’s writing this letter to Santa — and it’s not because of the lightsaber he never got. Cumberbatch wants Santa to help the children. He asks that Santa help the world’s children find magic in a world where there often is none. Where kids, whether by choice or circumstance, are growing up quicker and quicker with every passing generation. Benedict just wants Santa to let kids be kids for a little while longer.
“A little more time for children to be children. Stretch the moment of magic and playfulness. Distract them from the realities of a world gone mad so that they can laugh with their breath rather than sob with their tears. Especially those caring for family members, or suffering illness, hunger or poverty. Especially those hiding in buildings as bombs rain down, or being handed shaking with fear or cold into a boat to escape environmental disaster or war. Please help to light up their worlds with a moment of joy and hope.”
In an especially moving part of the letter, Benedict asks Santa not to forget those children who are unable to write him letters due to illiteracy. He asks that Santa hear their words, since there will be no letters from these particular children, and asks that Santa help give those affected by illiteracy the time and chance to learn to read and write “so they can better their lives and escape their impoverished beginnings.”
According to the Guardian, Cumberbatch’s letter to Santa ends with the actor telling Mr. Claus that he feels quite sorry for him, and reflecting on the idea that though he initially believed Santa wasn’t there to help adults, by asking him to help the children, he is, in fact, asking Santa to help with some adult problems.
“And I guess I’ve done exactly what I said I wouldn’t … Asked you to help with adult problems and solve some of the greatest worries we have for our children.”
Ever the gentleman, Benedict then promises to leave some extra port and mince pies for Santa Claus, before adding, almost as an aside, that he really would still like that lightsaber he never received as a child.
To read more celebrities’ letters to Santa Claus, including Benedict Cumberbatch’s in its entirety, visit the Letters Live website.
[Image via Rachel Murray/Getty Images]