I don’t recall ever writing a letter directly to Santa, but I do remember making a Christmas list each year. I guess I just trusted my mother to forward the lists to the North Pole. Apparently she did, because I always got what I wanted and then some.
When I was in second grade I asked for a typewriter. A real typewriter. Not a Fisher Price-type toy typewriter, oh no! I wanted the real thing. I wanted to type words, sentences, stories. I wanted to hear the ding at the end of the line signaling me to return the carriage with a satisfying thump. I wanted to roll the paper up and down and finally, at story’s end, yank it from the machine in grandiose style.
On Christmas morning I was thrilled to find a typewriter under the tree, turquoise with white plastic keys. Better yet, there was a note in it, typed by Santa himself! I felt like the luckiest kid on earth…
until I read the entire note:
Dear Ida Beth,
Merry Christmas. Be a good girl and clean up your room.
Hey, wait a minute! That’s not something Santa would say!
Those words came directly from my mother’s mouth, and I knew it. My mother had contaminated Santa! She told him what to type in that note! This was her evil plan to make me clean my room! I tried to play it cool and not let on that I knew what she was up to, and pretty soon I forgot about the note altogether if only for a little while.
I never forgot about the typewriter, though. While the current technology is so much easier to use, I kind of miss the dings, the thumps, and yanking out the finished piece with a flourish.
This year I have asked Santa for a new laptop. Though I still don’t clean my room much, I have been pretty good otherwise, so I like my chances. There won’t be any thumps or dings, no paper to roll up and down. Hopefully there won’t be a note either:
Dear Ida Beth,
Merry Christmas. Be a good girl and change your mother’s air conditioner filter.