Re "All they want for Christmas …," Opinion, Dec. 8
'Tis the season when bright Christmas lights shed light on huge societal disparities and painful inequalities.
Diana Wagman's piece on her volunteer work for Operation Santa (a program put on by the post office in which people reply to letters from needy children and send them gifts) is a testimony not only to our changing times, when traditional toys are replaced by expensive technological gadgets, but also of how the innocence of our children has a high price that poor families can't afford to maintain.
This is the time when those well-behaved kids who hoped to be rewarded by Santa with their favorite toy cry over that useful backpack they got instead. This is the time when those good kids wonder why that rude classmate got an Xbox, and when sarcasm becomes the defensive tool of countless children whose dreams are shattered.
After reading Wagman's piece listing the Christmas wants of needy children — essentials like groceries, shoes, clothing and shampoo — and then seeing all the ads for luxury cars, thousand-dollar watches and the multimillion-dollar listings that are standard fare in The Times' real estate sections, one can really see the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
This does not bode well for the United States.
I was extremely shocked and, at the same time, touched by this piece. I was in disbelief that the post office even puts on such a thing.
Why didn't I know about it? And why isn't more attention brought to it?
Each year I look for local organizations to donate to or I participate in organizations through my job. This holiday season I was feeling very lost, and I just didn't want to donatetoys or food. This season I really felt the urge to do something more personable.
Operation Santa is the perfect thing.