Disclaimer: I sadly didn't get the rights to Criminal Minds for Christmas, so I am borrowing the characters for a little bit of profitless entertainment. No infringement is intended other than some amusement, promise.

AN: I know for most folks the Christmas season is over, but in my household it goes until Thursday (Epiphany). Therefore, I am still posting this even though it's a story based around Christmas. Hope you enjoy regardless. Please feel free to let me know what you think along the way.

Btw, the story is mostly written, however I return to work tomorrow and this week is insane with personal chaos so I may not post everyday. Hope you enjoy. Harlie

Please Santa

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. ~Agnes M. Pahro

November 2, 1995

La Jolla, California

Dear Santa,

I feel like a fool sending this letter, but I don't know what else to do. You've always granted my wishes as a child, so I am hoping you'll grant my adult wish, too.

My parents are gone and I am about to face my first Christmas without them. I don't think I can do it. No…I know I can't. I'm not strong enough. I feel so alone. I am so alone. My stepbrothers have each other and their families. I had mom and dad. I don't understand why they had to die.

Please Santa, send someone to love me and help me through this. I simply can't do it alone.


Penelope Garcia


November 2, 2010

Department of Unfulfilled Wishes, North Pole

Santa reread the letter he was holding in one hand and wiped the tears streaking down his cheeks with the other. Letters like this one broke his heart. Mostly because there was little to nothing he could do. Year after year, he brought toys, pets, books, bikes and other sources of entertainment, to boys and girls worldwide. Yet, to the children who needed him most to ease their heartache, he was ill equipped to do much of anything.

Penelope's letter had been particularly hard to handle for several reasons:

She had stepbrothers who should have been there to help fill at least some of the gap and help her heal.

She was eighteen and his mandate was for children. Technically, he wasn't responsible, but he never could accept that. Everyone was somebody's child.

After fifteen years, it continued to bother him: Penelope still didn't have anyone in her life to love her properly.

Swiping once more at his damp cheeks Santa made a vow:

"Penelope, this year I'm going to make your wish come true."