Dear Santa: Bring margaritas and a gong

OK, I admit it.

I dread the holidays with every fiber of my being.

The magic has vanished and been replaced with gray hairs, stress and anxiety attacks.

Even so, every year, I manage to drag the kids to the orchard to cut down a tree and lug it home.

They scramble out of the car and take off in separate directions in search of the perfect tree. Once they have located one, they yell excitedly for me to, “Come look!”

They take special care to spread out as far apart from each other as possible to ensure I will have to tromp to all four corners of the orchard to inspect the contender they have so proudly chosen.

Someone always picks a tree in the farthest corner and stands next to it with a big grin on their face, completely oblivious to the fact that it has a backside full of gaping holes.

In times like these I understand why some species eat their young, sparing themselves the internal questions of whether or not the kid has what it takes to make it to adulthood.

Eventually we agree and get one home, wind a tangled ball of lights around it and throw on some hot-glued ornaments that should have been tossed years ago.

I never wear festive sweaters or sing Christmas carols in a door-to-door traveling hoard. I don’t even send out a Christmas newsletter detailing every ailment or surgery the family has encountered that year, and with the exception of that one year circa 1999, I NEVER EVER make a gingerbread house.

Kid #1 was around 5 when she spied a Gingerbread House Kit while we were grocery shopping.

Since assembling kits of any type are pretty much my own little slice of hell, I tried to talk her out of it. I offered to buy a new Barbie or jewelry or a carton of cigarettes, but she could not be swayed from purchasing that nightmare-in-a-box.

Knowing I had to pick my battles, I caved.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, right?

After all, the box claimed it was  “a perfect Christmas craft for the entire family. A real holiday treat.”

Turns out, treating myself to a couple of hours of exfoliating my face with a cheese grater would have been more fun.

The roof with “shingle-like embossing” was cracked, the frosting was crappy and the “sparkling starlight mints and jewel tone jelly beans” were stuck together like they had been sitting in a candy dish at Grandma’s house for two years.

After seeing that our house wasn’t turning out to be the whimsical palace that she had envisioned, Kid #1 wanted nothing more to do with our gingerbread-flavored ghetto-shack masterpiece and opted to leave me to finish it alone.

Don’t fall for it, folks.

It’s all a lie.

Speaking of liars, let me just say Santa is not the man I thought he was. I never get what I ask him for and I’m starting to lose the faith.

I’ve enclosed my letter to him this year:

Dear Santa,

I know I’m a tad older than your typical letter writer but after the drum set, electric piano and plastic machine gun with the supersonic sound box you delivered to my house last year, I’m pretty sure I’m well within my rights.

Let’s face it. You owe me.

I’ve been a good girl all year.

I’ve managed to sustain the life of my four children, changed EVERY single empty toilet paper roll that everyone else ignored, scooped the wet wad of hair out of the shower EVERYDAY, emptied EVERY can of half-full pop that had been abandoned for a new one, searched for lost homework, headphones, shoes, mittens, backpacks and heads that weren’t screwed on.

Let me get right to it.

Here is my list.

1. Dishwasher. Am I the last person in the galaxy to not own one?

2. Bucket o’ margaritas.

3. New vacuum that isn’t easily destroyed by Legos and ponytail holders and an occasional sock.

4. New sleigh. My jingle bells sound more like a rattle/squeak/clunk. And, no, it’s not fun.

5. A mattress less than 20 years old minus the crevice in the middle that I roll into and can’t roll back out of.

6. A gong. (Seriously, there are just so many moments this would come in handy. Not to mention I would no longer have to yell at decibels that make me pee a little.)

7. Bucket o’ beer.

8. A trip to Hawaii. (Go big or go home?)

Look, I give you a lot of undeserved credit each year, Santa.

I’m not even sure how my kids keep getting on the “nice” list anyway. Are you really checking it twice?

Your system seems flawed and I’m tired of you giving me the shaft.

Love,

Me

Happy Holidays

Stefanie Freeman is a Jefferson resident and the mother of four.

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