Seventy years after recieveing a letter from Santa Claus, Robin Jones wrote a book about his holiday tale. (Robin Jones photo)

Letter From Santa Claus tells true tale of holiday hope

Robin Jones, 75, shares the story of getting a hand-written note while in hospital

As he went through some boxes in the attic, Robin Jones was surprised to unearth some happy memories from a Christmas long ago.

In an old scrapbook, Jones had many letters written to him when he was five years old, hospitalized with pneumonia before the holidays. His four siblings wrote to him often during his long stay, but it was a hand-written letter in red ink that caught his eye.

“My dad used to come and read me stories every day there in the hospital, and then one day I received this seven-page letter from Santa Claus. I still have it,” he said. “I started to get better and I was home in time for Christmas.”

Seventy years have passed since Jones was hospitalized with pneumonia. In the ‘40s, it was common for people to pass away from the illness. Jones said his family was worried about his health, so his dad — a great storyteller who would often make up tales for his children — decided to give them all some hope.

READ MORE: Secret Santas for seniors wanted in Victoria

“It was very heartwarming,” Jones said of his father’s creative gift, which was completed with smudges of chimney soot on the envelope. He credits the letter with making him feel better, and helping him go home.

“I remember receiving it,” he said. “It showed me that faith and the Christmas spirit can make you better.”

After he shared the story of the letter with the Victoria Storytellers’ Guild, they encouraged Jones to write a book. In 2017, Letter from Santa Claus was published, with illustrations by Mar Fandos.

The drawings show Jones with his Irish mother and black father. It was important to him when working with the artist that his biracial family was represented, especially as he notes there aren’t many Christmas stories featuring multiracial families. His grandfather was a slave who escaped in the Underground Railroad and married Jones’s First Nations grandmother after making it to Canada.

“So I made sure when the pictures were drawn, they showed my dad was black.”

In the year since its publication, Jones has read Letter from Santa Claus to people in Tuscan, Los Angelos and local groups of children in schools. He said some younger readers told him they feel better now that they know what happens when you go to heaven — where the letter said children can choose to become Santa’s elves — and what really goes on at the North Pole.

As for his father, Jones believes he would have loved the book.

“He would adore it,” he said. “He felt it was a big thing to pass on information to your children through stories.”

Seventy years ago, Jones received a letter he believed was from Santa Claus. Now, long after discovering the true identity of its author, he still has it.

READ MORE: Sooke community brings holiday cheer to sick elderly man


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Saanich plugs into $100,000 government grant for 20 new EV chargers

Six chargers to be installed at four municipal parks

Greater Victoria housing market sees positive bump in June

Sales up by 76.8 per cent compared to May

Owners say loss of parking pushes businesses to the brink

New Penny Farthing patio ‘will be like New Orleans, or Las Vegas’

Saanich woman says sexual assault was dismissed by police because of her ‘body language’

Patrol officers investigate sexual assault files, make decisions on what goes to Crown counsel

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight in Victoria

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

A list of charge rates or Crown referrals from police oversight bodies across Canada

Here are the rates of charges or referrals to the Crown from their most recent annual reports or online data

Man who rammed gate near Trudeau residence with truck faces multiple charges

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Most Read