Cambrian: Slice of Life

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa:

Merry Christmas to you, Mrs. Santa and the elves, even that mischievous Marvin over there in the corner!

Yes, we see you, Marvin. Now put that toy drum back in Santa’s pack, right now! You know the drum’s going to a little boy in Ohio (let’s hope nobody at his house has a hangover Christmas morning.)

Santa, I truly appreciate everything you’ve given us through the years, even the vacuum cleaner. We really needed the vacuum, I guess, and the pearl earrings weren’t nearly as important.

I admit I was puzzled by the deluxe Sudoku set in my stocking. I know you know I’m numerically dyslexic. But I appreciate it anyway, along with the peculiar Christmas vest and the mustard-and-avocado-colored, size 4 blouse that would have made me look terribly jaundiced even if I could have pulled it down over my boobs. Regifting, were we?

It’s the thought that counts, Santa. We all know that. And you’ve been wonderfully inspired so many times.

A couple of years ago, you brought us several small, artificial Christmas trees. We were so touched and pleased. You remembered that asthmatic Husband Richard is allergic to molds and mildew that can cling to the needles of a real tree.

I’ve almost convinced myself that it’s better this way. Artificial trees save money, we’re not cutting down trees that will turn into green waste six weeks later, and (yippee!) the artificial trees come prestrung with lights.

Without the pine, the house doesn’t smell quite like the Christmases of yore, but the aromas of cinnamon, anise, chocolate, browned butter and toasted almonds should help fill the void.

Yes, of course your cookies and milk will be here, waiting for you, as always! Mercy, how many cookies do you eat each Christmas? Mrs. Santa gets the endurance prize for letting out the waistband on your fuzzy red pants every year. It’s a good thing you do Weight Watchers in between holidays, or the reindeer could never pull the sleigh.

But, back to the artificial Christmas trees: There’s a weird problem with my favorite, the 4-footer that has branches tipped with tiny fiberoptic lights that twinkle and sparkle.

The needles are falling off, Santa. Our artificial tree is shedding.

I brushed gently against it, and about a dozen needles fell to the floor. I hung up an ornament, and many more needles dropped off. Even the breeze from opening the door makes the tree shed.

Trust me, Santa, I’m not even touching that tree again until we take it down. Heaven only knows what will happen when we try to fold it up and put it back in the box. It’ll probably look like a fiberoptic version of Charlie Brown’s tree.

Now, I appreciate realism on an artificial tree as much as anybody else. But I do think a fake tree that sheds is taking “lifelike” a step or three too far, don’t you?

However, what I’m really writing about, Santa, is my wish list. Yes, even at my age. You see, you’re the only one I can turn to for this.

I’m not asking for wealth. Or material things. Or even a fiberoptic tree that doesn’t shed.

We don’t need things, Santa.

We need harmony.

No, not “Glee” or “Sing-Off.” I’m asking for non-musical harmony.

Many of us seem crankier than usual lately, bickering over little things while ignoring the important issues. I know the economy’s tough, Santa, but being grouchy only makes things worse.

A smile can make so many things better. A hug is best of all.

We need harmony between spouses, between parents and children, bosses and employees, people who serve and those being served, even between strangers on the sidewalk and drivers on the street.

Manners do count.

Republicans and Democrats need a really, really big dose of harmony these days. Wouldn’t it be cool if, for once, the pundits didn’t have any dissention to talk about, and politicians could figure out how to compromise and get stuff done?

So please, Santa, just make sure your bottomless backpack has enough good will to spread around everywhere this year. We’re all going to need it.

And have a wonderful, restful 2012.

Love and hugs,

Your Kathe