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

Just Posted

Coroner called to workplace death in Victoria

VicPD says traffic impacts expected in 800-block Government Street and adjacent roads

Saanich explores options for adding shelters to parks

Covered areas would encourage safe outdoor socializing during rainy season

VicPD seeking help in recovering stolen scooter of B.C. Special Olympics athlete

The scooter was stolen from outside Hillside Mall on Sept.21

Oak Bay sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Glenn Wakefield’s rescue involved five airplanes and took more than 48 hours

First fall storm expected to hit Greater Victoria tonight

Heavy rainfall, winds expected over the next several days

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

Most Read