Category Archives: secrets

Pants on Fire

When you start talkin’ up Santa Claus to your newborn, what you don’t realize is that you’re setting yourself up for a sordid life of deceit. Keeping the magic alive involves a lot of work, and before you know it, you’re sneaking around buying gifts, speed wrapping them in a closet like some kind of Japanese game show contestant, and hiding them in places you yourself have no ability to recall come Christmas Eve night.

Because you had no foresight when you started the tradition, every year you have to buy yourself a gift from Santa or remind your husband to do it himself.

You have to make sure he wraps the gift in the specially designated “Santa” paper and labels it with a black Sharpie marker using Santa Script.

You have to remind him to dot his “i”s with a puffy heart and write his lower case “a”s in Times New Roman Sans Serif and then your husband is like, “Why don’t you just wrap and label this frikkin’ gift yourself?”

You spend so much time tracking him on NORAD and making up intricate explanations for Santa’s omniscience and magical powers of bilocation, that by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, you half believe that he’s really coming over.

You hope the reindeer find organic parsnips acceptable in lieu of carrots and debate whether they should be left on the cookie plate or the front steps.

You wonder whether it would be more believable if the reindeer left no trace of parsnip in their wake, or just the ends intact.

In the end, you break the parsnips in half and ask your husband to gnaw them down to the nubbin with his teeth.

You can’t even catch a break on Christmas morning because you have to remember which gifts came from Santa and which gifts came from you.

You have to shoot daggers with your eyes at relatives and friends who say point blank in front of your kid, “Where did you buy him that drum set?” And when they keep talking about it despite the fact that you are convulsing on the living room floor trying to pantomime, “STOP TALKING HE BELIEVES IN SANTA CLAUS OMG,” you have no choice but to tackle that person to the ground.

Despite all of this, you don’t much regret perpetrating the myth. Because you were a skeptical child who strong armed your parents into telling you the truth when you were but four years old, and now you wish you had believed for just a little while longer.

Because it is so much fun. And because as long as Santa is real, the world is a benign place where anything can happen, all of it good.


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I Don’t See Dead People, But I Wish I Would

I subscribe to a daily writing prompt, but I never do it. Putting that much thought into what I’m going to say, rather than just writing about my supermarket trials and tribulations, causes nervous beads of sweat pop out all over my brow. Today’s prompt, however, was to write about what I’d like to dream tonight, and I didn’t have to think much about this one at all – I want to dream my grandmother. But I don’t just want to dream about her, I . . . want her to visit.

There have been many reminders of the transiency of souls lately, in real life and on the Internet. Consequently, as I always do at times like these, I’ve been ruminating about the sweet hereafter. I like to think that I don’t need hard, empirical evidence of an afterlife, but I often find myself seeking out hints. I’ve been devouring books – about people who’ve had experiences that help them believe, and about NDEs (Near Death Experiences), during which individuals claim to have physically died and gone, if only for a moment, to another place which confirmed (for them) that there is something more.

I think it’s fascinating. And while I’m inclined to believe that some of these experiences are drug induced or fabrications, I think that many are authentic. And I get a little jealous. Because I’ve been waiting for a dead person to visit me for years. (Just kidding! But not really.) When I’ve really looked, I have picked up on signs that help me believe. There are things that have happened surrounding the deaths of my grandparents and uncle which, if I detailed them here for you, would seem inconsequential, but have proven mystical for me. Alas, I can’t say that I’ve ever glimpsed anything truly otherwordly, and I just want a little peek beyond the Veil.

Have you ever felt the presence of a loved one who has died in a dream? Have you had any experiences that have given you good goosebumps? I’d like to hear about them.

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