Monday, December 5, 2005

Strange Encounter of the Santa Kind

When I was a young kid, even after I "found" out on my own about the possibility that there might not be a Santa Claus, my mother, on the other hand, insisted that there was and for many years, I had to pretend just to keep her happy.

This went on until I was a full-fledged teenager.

However, Santa meant that someone would be bringing me whatever my heart desired and there was comfort in that. My step-father was in the army and while I don't remember being poor, I do remember that whatever my heart desired didn't happen and I knew that at least I could count on one person to give it to me, or at least I could wish for it to happen.

Santa was magical back in those days.

I would create long lists to leave out on the coffee table alongside his cookies and milk every Christmas Eve. As we had no chimney for him to climb down, I'd make sure the door was unlocked before I went to bed (thank goodness we didn't have much crime back then).

Even though the kids in the neighborhood insisted there was no Santa, I still believed, for to lose that belief meant that my dream Christmas list was only going to sit on the coffee table and be completely ignored by my parents (who the kids said was the real santa) who only gave me things they thought I needed like things to develop my intelligence instead of fun things like shoe skates and dolls that wet in their pants.

Before Christmas arrived, we heard there was going to be a television show where kids could come on and tell Santa what they wanted. Aha, I said, now's my chance to find out if Santa really existed and, if so, tell him all the things I wanted that year.

When we got to the studio, the line of kids was humongous. I was really young and the crowd intimidated me, not to mention I was about to go on live T.V.

By the time it was my turn to sit on Santa's lap, I froze. The cameras were aimed at me and all of a sudden I found myself sitting on Santa's lap with millions of people watching me and monitoring my every word. For some ungodly reason, my Christmas list disappeared from my memory banks.

"And what do you want Santa to bring you this year?"

I could hear this fat man in the red suit saying something to me and I just sat there with beads of perspiration dripping down onto my frilly little dress that Mama bought me just for the ocassion.

Santa repeated, "Little girl, what would you like Santa to bring you this Christmas?"

I knew I had to say something. His breath was right in my face and the cameras were rolling and my parents and everyone else on God's green earth was staring at me, waiting for me to respond and I thought I was going to die, but somehow, some way, these words came out:

"A baby doll."

Hell, I thought. Well, back then hell wasn't allowed in my vocabulary, but I was thinking it.

It reminded me of that kid in that Christmas movie they play every year when all he wants is this BB gun and the words just wouldn't come out no matter how hard he tried.

Santa smiled and said, "What else would you like?"

"A baby doll."

"Yes, I can see what I can do, but what else would you like?"

"A baby doll."

Santa saw that he was getting nowhere with me, so he nodded, then gave me a candy cane and told me to have a Merry Christmas.

I got out of his lap, took my stroll down the ramp, and fell completely on my toosh in front of everyone. I was humiliated beyond my wildest dreams. In front of millions of people. Completely mortified was a bit of an understatement.

When I got home, I panicked. I had one chance and I blew it. I sulked for days, wondering if there was going to be ONE gift under the tree - a doll baby - and that all the rest of the kids in the neighborhood would be getting so much more and I'd be getting a stupid doll baby because that's all I could muster up the strength to say.

Christmas morning came and I peeked into the living room. My note was gone. The cookies and milk were gone. I crept over to the tree and there was my doll baby. I picked her up and there was a note attached to her little blanket. I read it and it said,

"Here is your Christmas wish. Because you were not selfish, I
decided to give you a bit more than you asked for this year. I only wish
that more kids would follow in your example and I will hope that you can teach
these kids that Christmas is all about the spirit of giving and not
receiving. You have been a good girl and I'll see you next year!
Love, Santa."

I'll never forget that Christmas. Sometimes our gifts in life comes to us whether we ask for them or not. But I learned a lesson that Christmas. Never, ever, ever, let anyone ever, ever, ever talk me into going on T.V. again, no matter what's at stake.


  1. My little girl wants to visit Santa this year. This will be her first time. She said she's going to ask him for playdough for her, playdough for me, and a Barbie for her daddy. That she wants to ask for presents for us is so sweet. Of course, that might change when she's older. :)

  2. Love how you're decorating your blog with Christmas graphics. See? I can't get enough. :)

    On my first and only trip to Santa's lap and asked what I wanted for Christmas, I said, "My daddy" who was overseas at the time. He came home in January which was close enough.

  3. I guess we know why you're a writer and not a public speaker, eh? ;)

  4. What a great story! Sounds like Mom, um, I mean Santa, knew a teaching opportunity when she, I mean he, saw one!

  5. Jenny - Just wait until they start asking for iPods and laptops!!!

    Kathy - Gotta do something while I'm waiting for that agent to reject me. *grin*

    FTS - got it, dude. ;o)

    Cheryl - You mean Santa DIDN'T write that??? Booohhhoooooo...;o)

  6. LOL, nice read. I didn't let on that I stop believing either...more for my siblings than for my parents.

  7. this year, i mistakenly asked santa for a sinus infection, instead of a new sinus system, so now i'm doing my best to be a bad girl. i'm not exactly sure what you're trying to imply here about santa not being real!!! keep the faith;)

  8. This is absolutely the sweetest thing I have read yet this year regarding Christmas... humor, sensitivity, spirit, oh and you falling on your tush? priceless (in a good way).

    And let me guess-- you still have that baby doll don't you?

  9. What a beautiful heart warming story :)


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