Since my son is autistic he has occupied his time with creating lists of just about anything you can think of. He has found great joy in creating lists so when I asked him to make a list for this Christmas that we would mail to Santa I thought it would take him no time and that he would be so into creating it. So when I asked him to write his list I was quite surprised he still had not started it. When I asked him why he said he felt that Santa should be helping the less fortunate and that he did not want to receive a gift because he felt that there are too many poor children who have very little food and clothes and they should be the first on Santa's list. I was so impressed with my son's compassion and yearning to see the less fortunate helped that I was deeply touched.
I told him that God is trying to help all the people in the world and he wants us all to feel special in his eyes and that we should still write Santa because we are all children of God and we all deserve to be noticed for the good we do. As children we all look forward to the holidays when we are with our family and we get to open presents that are given to us as gifts and celebrate the true meaning and spirit of the holidays especially Christmas. Our son was born in the month of December so he receives gifts for his birthday and for Christmas. He is a great kid and is like most kids yet he seems very mature for his age and has such a sense about himself in that he wants to help people and make the world a better place to live. He gets very upset when he sees pictures of children malnourished and dying and wishes that he could help them to get the food and basic nutrition they need.
Matthew said he would make two lists for Christmas 2009. One was a list for the needy and the other list was for him as I asked him to write. In his list for the needy he really expressed his wishes and dreams that all the families who are struggling receive the love and support they need to keep their homes and provide for their families. Matthew said that we all should share in providing one thing to help others in need. He said something very profound and I am quite impressed with his dreams and his vision in helping to make things better for the less fortunate. He envisions that if we all could do one deed to help someone and we provide them with the love, support and friendship they need and we multiplied that one act of human kindness by the actions of others who feel the same way we would certainly have accomplished something very positive and would see how this would certainly help others.
I feel Matthew has grown and matured a great deal despite his autism and his personality really shines because he really is very caring and always wants to help others. For this reason alone I told Matthew that this is why Santa needs his Christmas list so he can recognize his kindness and his good deeds and reward him for it.
Matthew's Christmas list was written with the innocence and the sincerity of a child who truly believes and it is precious and I will fulfill some of his wishes by seeing that he gets money, rolls of paper, pencils, dominoes, books and family board games. He certainly deserves the items he requested and we are so proud of him because he is a terrific kid and he makes Christmas for us so special!
Merry Christmas to all, especially Matthew, our wonderful son!
Edward D. Iannielli III