Very few songs encapsulate the child-like joy of Christmas than this song. (Well, to be honest, there are two others, but I’ll get to those shortly.)
The idea of writing a Christmas list to Santa Claus as an adult seems pretty silly at first, but considering the hassles of adulthood, especially in today’s world, the temptation to slip back into such a childhood tradition seem very alluring, and I’m sure that was the intention of this song.
As a child, it was comforting to know that there was an omnipotent altruistic figure who had the power to reward good, judge evil, and essentially change the world at his whim; but as we grow old, we grow out of such childhood fantasies. But is it for the better? What eventually happens is that we find ourselves in a cold, dark world void of any joy or hope. We feel small. We feel we have no control. So it’s very tempting to want to retreat into such a childlike state where we can appeal to an all-powerful figure who has control over the world in his hand.
And this seems to me what the song is about: it’s about reliving the joy of writing letters to Santa and asking him for favors during the Christmas season, only instead of asking for toys for yourself, it’s about asking for a better world for everyone else to live in. And as with “Someday at Christmas,” it offers a glimmer of hope that, if we do hold the spirit of Christmas with us, we could very much end up with a much better world than we have now.
(Um, did I unintentionally compare Santa Claus to God?)