My family and I visit Railtown USA each year to ride the Santa Train.
This year was no exception. For the drive up, the kids grabbed their clipboards, paper and pencils and carefully wrote out their letters (with a picture) to Santa.
"Dear Santa," my 6-year-old began, "Merry Christmas. Can I ..."
"Mom," he called from the back seat, "how do you spell earn?"
Earn? I thought, as he was running through his vocabulary of "want" and "have," each time followed by a "No, no, I can't say that."
Because, you see, in my house, children who begin sentences with "I want" and "Give me" are met with encouragements to start over. So when my 6-year-old asked me how to spell "earn," I knew he was onto something great.
Patiently they waited in their seats for Santa to make his way down the aisle. As Santa approached, my son raised his eyebrows saying, "The letter, mom, where's my letter?"
Carefully, Santa unfolded the letter, taking a minute to read:
"Dear Santa, Merry Christmas. Can I earn a remote control helicopter?
The HO HO HO that followed was the most genuine I have ever heard.