Tag Archives: naughty list

The year without a Santa Claus

There’s an infamous (at least for me) story from my childhood where I looked at my mom one day and just bluntly said “Santa Claus isn’t real, is he?”

“No, he’s not, sweetie,” my mom replied.

And that was that.

But the infamous part came next. Because I went to school the following day and stood on top of my desk to kindly (and loudly) share this breaking news with all my second grade peers. 

Surprisingly, this did not help my popularity.

And now, all these years later, the joke is on me. Little did I know that in my 30’s I’d still be dealing with this whole “does Santa exist?” controversy. Oh karma, you wily minx. Because see, now that I’m a mom, and need Santa to exist, I can’t find that bastard anywhere.

Let’s start at the beginning.

My son’s first Christmas, when he couldn’t have cared less (since his only interests back then were my boobs and old, gross, fast food receipts) we were lucky enough to randomly run into a Santa while out and about in early December. So we plopped our son down and took a million photos as you are legally required to do. Easy peasy. And they are photos we cherish to this day even despite the fact that both my baby and Santa look like they’re being held at gunpoint.

So, naturally, I just assumed that was how it worked. Last year, I figured we’d run into another one while out shopping or looking for a restaurant that sold spaghetti tacos (did I mention I was pregnant again?). We never did. Luckily, my son was still young enough that it didn’t really matter and I didn’t really care about anything except spaghetti tacos and not puking on random strangers whenever I left the house.

But this year, oh, this year, I came prepared. He’s almost three. And this is his sister’s first Christmas. Time to stop phoning it in as a parent. So, starting the day after Thanksgiving I started Googling where and when Santa would be. I was leaving nothing to chance.

Imagine my surprise then, when two Sundays ago, we went to meet Santa and he wasn’t there. Apparently “Santa will be taking photos until 5 p.m.” meant if you showed up at 4:30 p.m. he’d be gone on what I can only assume was a very important Santa emergency involving happy hour eggnog shots. Luckily, people working the event were super helpful and reassured us that they had “no idea where he was or if he’d be back.”

I was mad, sure. The Momma Bear in me wanted to start smacking people with my festive Santa hat. But I managed to keep my calm. We still had one more weekend before Christmas and my toddler got chocolate as a consolation prize, so crisis averted.

Still, again, I didn’t want to leave anything to chance. I checked, then double checked, then triple checked when and where Santa would be this past Saturday.

7 p.m.

No less than three local event calendars said 7 p.m.

Santa would be hanging out in this particular location until 7 p.m.

Looking back, I should have known better. It was the same location that Santa had abandoned to go on a bender the weekend before. But, silly me, I thought if we showed up three hours before closing time, he’d be there.


He wasn’t.

Needless to say, I was frothing at the mouth at this point. And again, the helpful people working the event assured us that “um…I don’t know, man.”

So, again, my son got chocolate as a consolation prize. But I am running out of time and I need some chubby, red jerkface to sit on his ass and interact with my freaking children before I lose it. I need a photo of my baby girl screaming on his lap and one of my son doing that weird toddler smile where it looks like they forgot how to smile. It’s Christmas. Why the hell can’t I find a Santa? Why is this so hard? WHY AM I BEING PUNISHED FOR A MISTAKE I MADE WHEN I WAS SEVEN?!?

Sigh. This is a good lesson for you kids though. Apparently once you’re on the naughty list, you stay on that naughty list. Santa does not forgive nor forget.

Well played, fat man. Well played.


My grown-up Christmas list

Dear Santa,

Hey there, big guy. I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written to you and for that I apologize. I just figured I should probably lay low for about a decade or so after that infamous “incident” in 1989. But you’ll be happy to hear that I’ve finally learned my lesson and my probation, which forbids me from going within 1,000 feet of any and all reindeer, ends in just a few days. So, considering that Johnny Law has now forgiven me, I can only hope that I will finally be taken down from the “Hopelessly and Perpetually Naughty List” (along with my wanted poster in the stable).

Well, now that we can let bygones be bygones (which reminds me, please send my regards to Prancer…I’m assuming most of his fur has grown back by now), on with the real reason for this letter.

As I’m sure you’ve assumed, I’m writing to you about my Christmas list. But unlike most letters you get this time of year, I won’t be asking for jewelry or high tech gadgets or that pair of purple high-heeled knee high boots in size eight and a half (which just happens to be my size) I saw in the window of that store the other day. Nope. This year I’ve been truly blessed and can honestly say that I have everything I need and ever wanted (even without that pair of purple high-heeled knee high boots in size eight and a half, which just happens to be my size, I saw in the window of that store the other day).

And so this year, Santa, I’m asking not for material things but rather gifts that come from the heart and make the world a better place (and mind you, this isn’t just some ploy to make you think I’m an exceedingly good person and, as such, end up receiving even more gifts, like, say, a pair of purple high-heeled knee-high boots AND a matching leather jacket, because of my selflessness).

Of course, the No. 1 thing on my list this year would be peace on Earth and all that junk. I think we can all agree this world needs a healthy dose of goodwill toward men right now (and women…and if he exists, Bigfoot).

But everyone always asks for that kind of stuff so let’s move onto the important wishes.

Please, please, PLEASE use your magical powers to get “Charles in Charge” back on TV. This alone will bring Christmas joy to even the most Bah-humbug members of society.

Also, if it’s not too much to ask, please make Katherine Heigl stop. Just stop.

I think the world could also majorly benefit from the creation of a calorie-free cheesecake. Better yet, get rid of calories all together. They’re obviously bad for our health.

Could you also please destroy every copy of Christmas songs being sung by dogs or cats? I can guarantee you that 23 percent of all cases of Christmas violence stems from having to hear “Jingle Bells” being barked by a chorus of Golden Retrievers.

I know it’s too late for this year, but it would be great if you could get rid of Black Friday all together next year. Or, if you can’t, could you at least make it more interesting for us spectators sitting at home watching the chaos on the news? Maybe make the shoppers battle some lions before they make it to the electronics department. Or make all the stores install a “Hunger Games”-esque arena, where with the touch of a button, you can create a tornado in cosmetics and start a fire in the petite department.

Now, with this next one I hope I’m not being too forward. But I’d really love it if you changed the criteria for the naughty list to include anyone who texts or talks on their cell phone while at dinner or on a date or during a movie and instead of giving them a lump of coal, destroy their stupid iPhone with a bolt of lightning (perhaps you could partner up with God on that one).

And lastly, while I don’t know how much influence you have over the liquor industry, could you please try to make eggnog available year-round? Or at least available through March. Expecting us mere humans to get our fill of this seasonal golden nectar in only a month is unrealistic. We need at least four, possibly five months to properly get sick of puking up this beverage.



P.S. Tell that good-for-nothing Tooth Fairy she still owes me $1 from 1987. Oh, and that I apologize for drawing that dirty picture in permanent marker on her wing.

What my baby really wants for Christmas

Dear Santa,

Hiya, big guy. Remember me? Yes, yes, that Aprill with two L’s who “allegedly” set fire to Prancer when she drank too much eggnog and found that old stash of fireworks in the attic on Christmas Eve 2007.

(But may I remind you, the trial ended in a hung jury so no hard feelings, yeah?).

I’m writing this letter to you on behalf of my son, Riker, who due to circumstances beyond his control is unable to write you himself (those circumstances, of course, being that he is only 9-months-old and used the pen I gave him to whack our dog repeatedly on the head…heh, guess the ‘ol apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, now does it?).

Anyhoo, I can’t tell you how excited we are for Christmas this year. It’s Riker’s first one and we are planning on going all out this year. We even positioned our fake tree so that you can barely see the burn marks from two years ago (I should really not be allowed around fireworks). And our stockings have already been hung with care and copious amounts of duct tape.

But first things first, old man. Regarding the naughty or nice list…sigh. As we both know, my name has been written on the former in permanent marker since 1998 thanks to various incidents my lawyer has advised me not to publicly discuss pending current litigation in three Midwestern states (best road trip EVER though). However, I hope that you can rise above our personal rocky relationship and not let it affect my son. He’s been a very good boy this year, that yogurt-throwing incident involving that other baby in Starbucks notwithstanding.

In the hopes that you can find it in your heart this holiday season to let bygones be bygones, I have enclosed my baby’s Christmas list below:

  1. An exact replica of our dog’s tail.

The real one is by far his most treasured possession (besides that gross, wrinkled, fast food receipt he found at the bottom of my purse last Tuesday and refuses to let go of). Anytime he sees that tail, he immediately makes a beeline straight for it using that weird “I haven’t quite mastered crawling so instead I transport myself across the floor like a dying man in the desert who sees an oasis and is trying to get to it but only half his limbs work” move of his. However, seeing as how the tail is currently still attached to our dog, we all agree it would be in the best interest of Buffy’s mental health if Riker had his own, separate tail to play with.

  1. Gross, wrinkled, fast food receipts

You know, maybe just like a handful of them to put in his stocking.

  1. An end table.

I know, I know. What would a baby need an end table for? And the answer is, I have no bloody idea. All I know is that my son refuses to leave our current end table alone. But since ours is reserved space for Mommy’s coffee (and by that I obviously mean vodka poured into a coffee mug), he really needs his own.

  1. A Bane mask like the one from the Batman movie

Confession: This one is more for me. I figured it would be a good way to get him to stop shoving everything he finds on our fairly disgusting floors into his mouth but is also fun and full of whimsy. Also because I’m pretty sure using a straight-up muzzle on my baby is illegal.

Well, I guess that’s just about everything, Santa. Thanks for reading and again, my apologies to Prancer. I was glad to hear that at least some of his fur was able to grow back, albeit in small, sad patches (I’m sure he’ll be allowed to play those reindeer games again any day now…reindeer can be so cruel, can’t they?).

My love to the missus,