I’ve not been a particularly good girl this year. I’ve smoked and drank too much, and done naughty things. I know that as a Naughty Girl, I should be receiving nothing more than a lump of coal, but I also know that probably won’t be the case and I will, in fact, be getting more lovely books for Christmas.
But, Santa, I know a lot of very good boys and girls, almost four million of them, and they won’t be getting books for Christmas this year. Quite a lot of them won’t be celebrating Christmas at all, which you and I know is fine, and doesn’t mean that we have to do Wintervil or not say words like ‘snow’ like some people like to to “joke” we do, but, Santa, shouldn’t they have books anyway? Because you know how important books are, Santa, I know you do. You know that if a child reads for pleasure they do better at school, that they feel better about themselves, that they will have better prospects in the future. You know this Santa, and yet, you don’t seem to send a lot of children books.
Santa, I don’t really think it’s fair that one in three children in this country don’t have a book of their very own when the Prime Minister’s family use a knife that cost £20 to spread their butter with. I know there are a lot of unfair things in this country. I know that a lot of people are angry, and scared about the future. I know a lot of people don’t have places where they can live safely, or money to buy fuel. I know there are an awful lot of things to write to you for…
….but Santa, one in three children in this country do not own a book. A book. And I know that a third of the grown ups in this country don’t feel that great about books. I know that even people my age, who are my friends, find the idea of reading a bit weird. That it must be ‘geeky’ or ‘strange’. That there must be something wrong with someone wanting to read. Don’t you think, Santa, that the two things might be, you know, connected?
Santa I’m not sure what to do. I can’t afford to buy a book for four million children, and I don’t know how I would give them to them if I could-I can’t fly around the world in a night like you. I wish I could make books, and give them away from free, like the World Book Night and World Book Day people do, but I’m only one Elf, and I’m a bit stuck.
Santa, do you have any room in your sack for a book for every child? And if not, do you know anyone who does?
Thank you Santa, I shall make sure to leave you a mince pie and a tot of Port (and carrots for the reindeer, obviously!)
Oh and PS, Santa, I know that I deserve nothing but coal (especially after this twee bit of heart string pinging nonsense) but I would really really like Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. Thank you xx