Weekly Column: The Best Lists to Santa…EVER!

©Stephenie Freeman

At our house, list making is a regular occurrence. Look around our house and you’ll find all sorts of list scattered about: Honey-Do lists, grocery lists, chore lists, and of course To-Do lists. Most of the time Mama is doing most—okay all—of the list making, but for the last few weeks the majority of the list making in the house has come from my children.

No list is more important or carefully written than a child’s list to Santa. My kids have agonized over these lists. They’ve been amended on almost a daily basis, keeping poor ol’ Santa from being able to finish her shopping. So to help Santa out, Mama forced the boys to get serious about finishing their final drafts, getting them ready to send off to the Big Guy.

My boys decided not to write letters, choosing instead to simply send lists because as the Cheese explained, “That’s all that Santa really needs anyway.” No need to send some bulky letter filled with a bunch of claims of being good all year long. No need to thank Santa in advance for all of the wonderful presents. Nope, no beating around the bush from my kids. I think Santa will appreciate their ability to keep things as simple and clean-cut as possible.

The Monkey’s list to Santa is one of the most original I’ve ever seen. The catalogs that had been so carefully circled have since been cut to pieces. We let the Monkey cut out all of the toys he wants and glue the roughly cut pictures to pieces of red and green construction paper. His list screams, “I’m four-years-old and I want it all!” I never knew I could love a list so much.

The Cheese, however, wrote his list the old fashioned way. He spent hours sitting at the kitchen table detailing in numerical order exactly what he wants for Christmas. His list went through the writing process, having been revised and edited several times, written in the best second grade handwriting that I’ve ever seen.

“Buddy, how come you don’t work this hard on your homework for school?”

He didn’t even look up from his list, but just snorted and laughed like I was crazy for asking such a silly question.

When I asked to see the list, he carefully explained his list-making reasoning.

“See, Mom? The thing that I want the most is at the top and I wrote it the biggest so Santa can see it really good because Santa wears glasses like me.”

Okay, makes sense so far.

“And then, Mom, I wrote the thing I want the second most and I wrote it a little smaller since I don’t want it as much as the first thing. And it goes like that all the way down. See?”

I did see and I was impressed. His finely crafted list was truly a work of art. Each item was written in a different colored pencil and the side margins were festively decorated. Santa’s name was written in big, bold block letters at the top, and his named was carefully printed and underlined near the bottom. This list was something worthy of a Nobel Prize in List Making.

“Mom, what are you asking Santa for?” he asked me. “Where’s your list?”

“Mama didn’t make a Christmas list this year,” I told my son. “I already have everything I could ever want.”

Except there is something that I would like to have.

Dear Santa, I’d like to have my sons’ Christmas lists returned and framed so I can keep them forever. Thanks. Love, Mama

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