Steve Albini is a recording engineer, producer, musician, journalist, and all-around splendid human being! The former member of Big Black recently penned an essay that he submitted to Huffington Post titled, "Why I Haven't Had a Conventional Christmas in 20 Years." In his essay, Albini talks about some post office Christmas letters to Santa Claus that he and his wife happened to read several years ago:
...letters addressed to Santa Claus, left out by the post office for people to read and answer. Curious, [my wife] read a few of the letters and couldn’t believe what she saw.
These weren’t impish requests for toys or a new bike; mostly, they were desperate pleas from heads of households asking for help. It was staggering. People let down by the remnants of a social safety net, without families or abandoned by their families, people suffering sickness, poverty and abuse. People so far out on a limb that they swallowed what pride they had left, took pen in hand and wrote down everything that had failed them, everything that had broken or been stolen, everything that had hurt them and made them feel fear and shame and worry.
Albini discusses how reading those letters chaged something in him and inspired him to take action. Since then, he's dropped off toys, hosted charities and benefits, and much more! Read the full essay here.