Weekly Column: Mama’s yearly letter to Santa

©Stephenie Freeman

(originally run on Christmas Eve, 2009)

Dear Santa,

It was great to see you the other day at the mall. The boys enjoyed their short visit. The Cheese mentioned something about being on the nice list again this year which didn’t surprise me one bit. I’m not sure, but I have a feeling The Monkey might still be riding the infamous fence. I wish there was something I could say to help his case, but out of fear of accidentally pushing him onto the Naughty side forever, I think it’ll be in his best interest to just keep my mouth shut.

There sure were a lot of kids in line to see you that night. Must be fun feeling like such a rock star day after day. I love watching you visit with all of the smiling, well-groomed children. And so well-behaved too! Even though the line was long, each boy and girl stood there quietly, trying their best to keep their holiday excitement contained. I just wish their parents were as well-manned and polite as they were.

Did you notice that every parent standing in line that night seemed to be in a bad mood? One man in front of us was particularly grumpy. He complained and grumbled so loudly that after a while even the Cheese looked at me and said, “That guy’s on the Naughty List for sure!” I couldn’t help but agree.

Unfortunately at Christmastime behind every smiling child there is a completely stress-out parent on holiday overload. You know how it is, Santa. The month of December is filled with errands and activities in overabundance, jamming our already busy schedules with even more. And unfortunately, when you are in the midst of creating oodles of holiday delight for all to enjoy, it’s hard to enjoy it much yourself.

I have a theory: The first Mama who added a little nip of whiskey to her Egg Nog didn’t do it because it tasted good; she did it in order to survive.

I’ll admit, I have been feeling a little Scrooge-like this holiday season, Santa. I must officially be grown-up because I seem to have lost all of my child-like Christmas enthusiasm. And I don’t think I’m the only one. When I’m at the mall or the Post Office or simply driving down the street it seems like the world is filled with adults who have lost all of their festive Christmas cheer.

It’s like when Charlie Brown asked in his Christmas special, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” We’ve forgotten that we should be celebrating all of the love and joy and peace that the holiday season brings. Instead all we do is complain with the nasty intensity of The Grinch and Scrooge combined.

Santa, this year Mama wants more Holiday Cheer. Not just for me, but for all of the adults in need. Personally, I’d like one of those jumbo sized popcorn tins that you see at Wal-Mart filled with Holiday Cheer so any time that I start to feel it fading, I can simply open the can and grab another handful. I want to open the lid and be reminded what the holiday season is really all about. And if there’s a little caramel corn in there to munch on, well that’d be okay too.

I know that bringing holiday cheer to the world isn’t an easy job, but if anyone can pull it off, I know that you can, but I’ll be sure to leave a bottle of whiskey next to your glass of Egg Nog…just in case. And as always, please give my best to Mrs. Claus.

Love, Mama

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