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December 21, 2012

santa and me: year one

When I was seven, I determined to get a photo of Santa.

After my parents put me to bed, I snuck downstairs with my pillow in hand and my sister's X-15 camera around my neck. I slipped unnoticed into the family room, where the Christmas tree and, importantly, fireplace were. I pressed into the corner of the couch, hidden under a blanket, index finger poised on the camera's trigger like a cobra prepared to str--

Next thing I knew, I awoke in my own bed. Drat.

I went downstairs to find the expected bounty of presents from Santa. My stocking was stuffed until its seams strained. I reached inside and found a handwritten note.

John Paul,

If you EVER try that crap again, I will never give you so much as a lump of coal for as long as you live.


My knees buckled. Terrified and chastened, I told no one. I fake-smiled my way through the opening of presents, exactly as I would later, as an adult.

But by next year, I was again emboldened.

Tomorrow: next year

posted by john at 7:39 AM  â€¢  permalink