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

Just Posted

Greater Victoria could see a months worth of rain within a week this fall

Weather Network predicts wet, warm fall season for B.C.

Cloudy, chance of showers ahead for Wednesday

Plus a look ahead at your weekend

B.C. population on pace to fall behind Alberta

Provincial population could reach almost seven million in 2043, but Alberta is growing faster

Saanich brings Uptown-Douglas Corridor draft plan to the public

Feedback from residents will help finalize the plan

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Oak Bay father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

WATCH: United Way #Drive4Five event launches campaign to raise $5 million

More than 80,000 lives changed last year by the United Way

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Man who crushed Nanaimo RCMP cars with stolen truck gets more jail time

Majore Jackson, 34, sentenced to two more years in jail in provincial court in Nanaimo

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Most Read