What Child Is This

David Chartrand

David Chartrand

It is 8 a.m. and there is someone in my little boy’s bed.

Pushing up through the blanket is the outline of a man’s body. Draped over the edge of the mattress are a man’s hands, thick and slightly hairy. Something is wrong.

I am certain this is my son’s room. I stop here nearly every morning for small talk with a small child.  So why do I see Size 10 sneakers on the floor?

I knock firmly on the bedroom door. Continue reading

Chartrand extra…

A Father’s Letter to Santa

(EDITOR’S NOTE:  This essay was first published 20 Christmases ago, on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. It launched my career as a newspaper columnist and author.  It also made my son the most popular kid at school, at least among kindergarteners who read The Wall Street Journal.

The piece has since been republished in newspapers, magazines and Web sites around the world. It was included in the first “Christmas Soup for the Soul” anthology as among the most memorable Christmas essays of all time. On Tuesday morning (12.24.13) at 7:55 am CST, the piece will be “performed” by syndicated radio talk show host Bruce Elliott (WILM/1450 AM/Dover, DE)). Elliot has done a live reading of “A Father’s Letter” every Christmas Eve for the past 20 years.)

Dear Santa:

My five-year-old boy scribbled out his Christmas list. It’s there by the fireplace. The Coke and M&Ms are from him, in case you’re hungry. You know 5-year-olds these days. The Cheezits are from me. Continue reading

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