Every year around Thanksgiving, I started working on my letter to Santa. I did this until I was about seven, but gave up on the jolly old elf, since I rarely got what I had asked him to bring me. Besides, my house didn’t have a chimney, and nobody could explain how such a rotund old man could fit through the vents on our forced air heaters. But the exercise in writing was helpful. It made me really think about the two or three things I wanted, and more than that, it made me work to learn printed letters.