Since it’s December 6th and my house is actually cleaned and decorated for the holidays, I figured I’d get a jump on the gifts this year. You know what this means, right?

Yep. My yearly letter to Santa.

A few years back I decided to send the letter instead of my children, because I was tired of Santa bringing toys that a) my children didn’t really want b) were not at all practical c) required $40 bucks in batteries or d) had one million small choke-hazard parts. I’m keeping it simple this year since I know Santa’s probably been feeling the effects of this fabulous economy too. All those elfin layoffs musta been a headliner at the North Pole no doubt. I’m only asking for one small thing per family member. Since I’m not being selfish, I really hope he can deliver.

Dear Santa:

For my youngest daughter, I’d like a glittery wand that will help her make decisions. I understand that her inability to decide on what pants to wear, what shoes to put on, or what food she’d like for breakfast (or lunch or dinner) probably has something to do with the fact that she’s four. This knowledge does not make it any easier for me to get things done around here in a timely fashion. This morning it took ten extra minutes for her to decide between her brown dress shoes or white tennis shoes. We were even late to school. If I pick out her clothes she doesn’t like what I choose. If she picks out her clothes, it’s a thirty-minute process. I need to get things done Santa. I want the wand for myself see, so I can gently tap her on the head, releasing a bit of pixie dust (maybe followed by some audio effects of chimes or something) that would help streamline the decision making process. It’s December. I haven’t got all the time in the world.

For my middle daughter I would like some type of trash receptacle I could attach to her belt loops. You know, for the million small paper scraps that follow her like the dust ball behind Pig Pen. I check her hands nightly, but to my amazement, they really are just simple pre-teen digits, and not 10 sets of sharp blade action. This trash receptacle would allow her to cut all her crafts, cards, picture frames, paper dolls, books, library markers, tickets to performances, tree ornaments, and holiday pictures right over the bag, eliminating all that messy clean up. This would be great for both of us; I am going hoarse yelling and nagging about the constant ankle deep scraps I wade through, and she would no longer need to stomp, whine and harumpf  through clenched teeth about cleaning up her crap. It would save us both a lot of hassle. If you could make that receptacle pink or purple and put a big picture of Justin Beiber on it, I know she’d wear it always. (At least during her waking hours.)

For my son I would like to increase his hard-drive capacity by at least 25 gigs. While my son is very smart, he has apparently used up his current memory with information like the secret passes and codes to all his video games and the newest tunnels in Minecraft. There is no more room for things like where he put his library book, remembering to load the dishwasher, or studying for a big test. Adding some available HD to his person would save us both a lot of time-him wandering aimlessly about the house looking for some important school assignment or item, and me not having to remind him to do his chores (you know, the same ones he’s been doing for a few years now). I’m hoping the extra brain space helps, although, he’ll probably figure out a way to use it to construct a life-size replica of a Halo character out of leggos, or develop an alternate-time system so he can play the computer and his X-Box 360 simultaneously. All we can do is hope.

For myself I would like some type of reality-filter; something I can wear, ingest, sniff, or glue on, that would take the reality of things and filter that information so only the happy, content illusions get through. Something that allows me to see debris and hairballs on my floors and respond with a genteel smile, instead of a germ-vision infused stomachache. I’d like to see the crusted urine at the base of the toilet and giggle, kick up dirty laundry with my heels, laugh, dance, and sing amidst chaos, destruction, and filth. I’d like to go to bed every night dreaming of lollipops the size of my head and what movies I’m going to watch for the next 24 hours, instead of how I’m going to pay the bills and what dinners I can make for under 10 bucks. Since you are Santa, if there is any way you can make this filter also leach patience, I’d greatly appreciate it. Apparently I used up my store of patience in the second week of my marriage 13 years ago, and have been operating in the red ever since. I’m pretty sure my family would write you letters of thanks for this one.

For my husband I would like a pair of Allen Edmonds shoes, size 9 ½. Oh of course there are other things I’d love for him to have; a magnifying glass perhaps to see the fine details, or a wide angle lens to get a glimpse of the big picture. A honing device so he could find the laundry hamper instead of the floor, or special glasses that allow him to read between the lines. I’d love for him to have all these gadgets, but then he would actually have to use them. So I’ll stick to asking for something I know he’ll wear and enjoy. Allen Edmonds shoes. After all, my man deserves a nice pair of leather foot bling. He does knock out the mortgage after all.

So you see, Santa, my list really isn’t all that long. It’s not selfish. Not filled with materialistic greed or avarice. They are simple requests, really. Downright altruistic. I’d really appreciate it if you could deliver these things for our family on time this year. I’m giving you 19 days.


Rachel V.

Okay, GEM nation! What’s on your Christmas list for the family this year?

Rachel Vidoni is a professional writer and blogger and former classroom teacher. She is a mediocre mother to three pretty neat kids. You can follow her humor and family blog at You might not be a better parent after reading her blog, but you will feel like one.