Whenever I visit a big city around the holidays, I always make time to check out the Christmas windows at Macy's. The old department stores are entrenched deep in the city complete with huge windows lining the sidewalk. Starting in mid to late November, the windows magically fill with the wonder and excitement of the holidays. Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, you name it. All have store windows filled with holiday scenes and sprinkled with the magic worthy of a holiday sidewalk stroll. This window is from the Macy's store in Philadelphia back in 2016.
I love so many things about this picture. I love how this particular window mixes the holiday dream world with the reflection from the city just beyond.
However, something else about this picture gives me pause - the letter and red mailbox. Old mail boxes buried throughout the city are still used today, conveying not only the warmth of old-world charm, but the heartfelt personal communications (a.k.a. letters) within sent busy city dwellers and travelers. Mail addressed to Santa continues to hold a special place in most people's hearts today.
Here's one such mailbox, also in Philadelphia. The character and detail of the mailboxes are so ornate that they could have only been used to carry the most important of communications - letters to loved ones announcing sad and joyous news, important announcements, and messages of love to those near and far.
Despite the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, we still take the time to carry on these traditions during the holidays sending Christmas cards to family and friends. Despite the advent of new technology, we have preserved the tradition of mailing letters to Santa. We don't call, email, text, or tweet Santa. Instead, we sit down with the youngest of children to carry out the joyous and time-honored tradition of writing a letter to the most famous resident of the North Pole.
So, when your life feels strained by the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, take a moment to sit down and write a letter to a dear friend, loved one, or even Santa. Reconnect with the joy of the written word, which is strong enough to withstand even the farthest of distances.