A Kennedy Christmas

The country came to know Caroline Kennedy as its princess during the early 1960s.

As one of the White House's youngest occupants, Kennedy became part of Camelot's myth. But as an adult, Kennedy has carved out her own identity, including editing best-selling books and co-authoring another.

Her latest book, "A Family Christmas," is a collection of Christmas-related poems, prose, letters and other writings most dear to her. The anthology even includes a young Kennedy's Christmas list to Santa Claus and a letter from President Kennedy to a child about Santa's well-being.

Kennedy also visited the Operation Santa Claus, which is an annual program sponsored by the New York Post Office where people can write responses to the letters children send to Santa and the North Pole.

Editor's Picks

To learn more about Operation Santa Claus contact your local post office and read a portion of "A Family Christmas" below.


Christmas is a holiday of hope. As children, we wait all year for the chance to wish for whatever we want most. Frequently, these wishes take the form of toys, but often we ask for more profound gifts, such as a reunited family or a world at peace. Children possess a spiritual curiosity that is sometimes underestimated or overlooked in the holiday hustle and bustle. Yet children ponder the mysteries of life and of faith that Christmas makes real. Later on, as parents, we reconnect with our own childhood sense of hope, reaffirm our faith, and recognize the power of love and family?. This book has been a gift to me. I hope it will give other families the chance to reflect on their own personal observances, as well as our shared heritage, and that they too will enjoy the chance to "keep Christmas" all year long.

Letter to Tommy, World War II Lt. Col. Ralph Noonan,
Solomon Islands

December 25, 1943

Dear Tommy:-
This is the second Christmas that I have had to be away from you and mother and I don't like it, Tommy. More than anything else in the world I would like to be with you and mother today. But I know that it is impossible. Let's hope that there will be lots of other Christmas Days when we can be together, when we can decorate your Christmas tree and set up a nice, big electric train right in the middle of the living room floor. Mother won't approve of the idea at first, but wait and see! In a short time she will be playing with our trains, too. Christmas this year will be celebrated in many strange lands by men who only a few years ago were little boys like you and under the palm trees of the Solomons, American boys will be celebrating Christmas. . . .

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