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

Greater Victoria thrift shop quietly closes two locations indefinitely

Society of St. Vincent de Paul shut down Sooke and Central Saanich storefronts

New report finds ‘chronic’ shortage of daycare spaces across Greater Victoria

Sidney meets 52 per cent of demand, the best figure for six surveyed communities

Four-storey Oak Bay Avenue development to have rooftop garden

Redfern 35-unit development sent to public hearing

Sooke councillor pitches another way to improve transit

Coun. Jeff Bateman wants free passes for youth on local routes

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Greater Victoria

Thunderstorm may produce strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain, warns Environment Canada

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Most Read