So Long, Santa. It’s Been Real.


Dear Santa,

I’m not sure if you realized this as you took attendance in your workshop, monitored quality control with Hasbro and Microsoft, and then while you made your annual progressive dinner of cookies around the world, but I nixxed you from Team Christmas this year.

It wasn’t a Christ-centered, religious decision. We didn’t burn your red coat on an altar in the name of Jesus’ birthday. I happen to believe faith and tradition need not be separated, and I’m pretty sure that children who believe in Santa can still have a lasting faith in Jesus. So I won’t say this Christmas was Santa-less because I gathered the children at my feet and read the second chapter of Luke and thereby bashed their elfin idols.

No, it was about the passage of time and the lifted veil of fantasy and reality in the lives of my children. It was their doing, and it was my favorite new tradition. Enough with the Santa Appreciation Committees already.

That’s right. I did it all without you.

Christmas is a lot – a lot! – of work. (And don’t tell me you know this already, you jelly-bellied punk. We parents are all doing it for you.) Aside from working our way down the glitter-script list that seems as long as your Naughty List scroll, we also have to maintain the facade for our children that we’re not doing it at all. We must sing about Rudolph on the roof while we are balancing plates, keeping receipts, baking cookies, and hiding the secret stash of wrapping paper that could only come from you.IMG_5800

This year, I gave my kids access to the Master List. Look, guys. This is how Christmas happens. Help a sister out, okay? Or, in this case, a mother. Let’s get wrapping.

I was still up until three o’clock on Christmas Eve, when I most woefully ran out of Scotch tape. But, you know what? In the morning, my kids had an extra measure of grace for the tacky masking tape on their gifts. Because their mom isn’t perfect and supplies run out and spirits can still soar.

This year, I got to sign my name at the end of the day. And it was awesome.

Santa, I bid you farewell. Perhaps we can talk again about dividing up the duties, but not until I have grandchildren.

Much love and many thanks,
and don’t let the door hit you on your way out,



A seven-year-old’s thankfulness.


That’s right, guys. It’s from Mommy.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. I remember being 8 years old when My developing cognitive mind thought that there was no way a man in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer made any sense. When I asked my parents if they were “Santa”, they, of course, said, “Yes.” I think we were all relieved!

  2. Love this Tricia. And you have been on my mind and I have prayed for you these days.

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