I know, I know- this is really last minute and I’m sure you’re swamped right now. I realize that it is already Christmas in the Solomon Islands and you don’t have a lot of time to check your messages, so I’ll do my best to keep this brief.
First, I should begin with an apology. I know we haven’t exactly been BFFs the past 30 or so years, so you’re probably a little surprised to hear from me at all. It’s nothing personal, Santa, and I don’t think I ever stopped believing in you, but at some point I did stop believing in me.
You probably remember, I wasn’t the happiest, most well-adjusted little girl on the block, and somehow I started thinking at a very young age that the whole “magical Christmas” thing was just for other people to enjoy. Sure, we had a tree and presents galore, and my parents certainly did the best they could as immigrants who were new to this whole western Christmas thing. They never dreamed of a white Christmas in Egypt and I’m pretty sure flying reindeer are not indigenous to the region. In fact, because Eastern Orthodox Christmas is January 7th and not December 25, the holiday always seemed like one more confusing bump on the road that first generation children tread: one more thing that separated “us” from “them.”
But I’m not sure that’s what put the North Pole-like chill in our relationship. Somewhere in years of watching those I love exhaust themselves with last minute shopping sprees for things we neither wanted nor needed, the giant cooking ordeals for food that is inhaled in 15 minutes flat, I seemed to acquire a rather sad tradition of my own: a knot in my stomach that showed up right after Halloween and wouldn’t loosen up until early January. Great for avoiding those holidays pounds, but that’s about it.
Then, Santa, you started bringing me these really cool gifts. A wonderful husband who loves me, holiday baggage and all. Three little miracles to deck our halls (and undeck them, and scribble on them with crayon, etc). The chance to create our own family traditions, and to approach the season with joy instead of dread.
So I just wanted to say thank you, Santa. I know I don’t have this whole magical Christmas thing down just yet, but I think we’re doing pretty well. We’ve been baking and singing and dancing and laughing by day, driving around looking at lights and snuggling on the couch watching Christmas movies by night. No doubt, it’s exhausting being one of your helpers (and I certainly could have done without the Christmas virus currently moving through our house) but I’m loving every minute of it. Last night I went to bed in tears, and for the first time I was sad that Christmas was almost here instead of wishing it would just be over already.
So Santa, I really don’t need you to bring me anything this year. You’ve given me ability to enjoy the holidays, so what more could I ask for? But since you do seem to be a very literal kind of guy, I’d just like to clarify a few things:
The whole “all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” concept really need not apply to babies. If last night is any indication, we’re going to need a whole lot more baby Tylenol in our stockings.
And just so we’re clear, my kids do not actually want a hippopotamus for Christmas. It’s just a song. One that they will not. stop. singing.
Ditto on the the partridge, the turtledoves, and the french hens. Our zoo runneth over.
Not to be picky, but if you’re giving out five rings I’m really more of a platinum than a golden kind of girl.
And those maids-a-milking? I’ve pretty much got that department covered, but do they do windows?
Just some suggestions, Santa- I’ll leave the details up to you because you really do know best.
Safe travels, and there’s a good chance I’ll see you later tonight (see above re: virus, teething baby).
Your (new) friend,
PS- you know that “I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus” thing? I checked with my husband, and he says it’s OK. So pucker up.
Mona Shand is a mother of 3 and Santa’s new BFF. You can read more on her blog.