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I CANNOT believe I ended up following this particular writing workshop prompt, since I loathe Christmas, and never liked Santa.  But here it is.  The prompt was to write a letter to Santa from your younger self, or one of your characters.  This is what I would have written when I was somewhere between 7 and 9 years old, had I been articulate; I remember having each of these thoughts at some point around that age.


Dear Santa,

I'm not sure what I want this year, but I know what I don't want.

I don't want a doll this year. See, I really like the dolls you brought me last year, especially the one with the straight black hair, because I've always wanted to be an Indian and have my hair not frizz and tangle and not turn red at the ends, so, I know this sounds weird, but when I play with her, I pretend she's me as a baby and she's going to grow into what I want to grow into instead of what I really am. And she doesn't look like a baby, really, she looks like a two-year-old, so I can pretend she can talk without feeling stupid. But Jenny's my favorite doll ever in my life, and I want her to always be my favorite, so if you bring me another doll and I don't like it as much, it won't be fair to the new doll, and maybe someone else would love it as much as I love Jenny, so you should give it to them, instead. And on the other hand, if you bring me a doll I like better than Jenny, I would feel really bad about not loving Jenny best anymore, and anyway, she deserves to be loved best. Actually, if you want to, you can take my other dolls and give them to other kids, if you know someone who will love them better. Except Lilly, because she and Jenny are friends, and I like her almost as much and some days maybe even a little more because she's older and can go on adventures.

I don't want any more Matchbox cars this year, unless I can have another U.S. Mail Jeep. Darrell and me have too many cars already, and it gets confusing. Oh, except if the Matchboxes are for both of us, that'd mean he wouldn't get any either, and I don't think he'd like that.

Mainly I guess I just want fewer things, period, at least at Christmas, because Darrell is too old to get many toys anymore, so he only gets like six things, and mom only gets three, and dad just gets the one from mom and the one from both Darrell and me, and then I'm still opening presents after everyone else is done and it feels quiet and weird and the air is heavy and I feel greedy with all the stuff around me.

What I really want more than anything is for the church to have the candlelight service every Sunday night and not just the one before Christmas. I don't know if you have candlelight services where you live, but what they do is, they turn off the lights, and then Brother Bob lights one candle in the front of the room. And he uses that one to light two other candles, and two deacons take those candles and start with the front row on each side, and light the first person's candle, and then while that person's lighting the next one, the deacon moves to the next row, and the next, and then in like five minutes, everybody's holding a lighted candle and there's enough light you can see the hymn book to sing Silent Night, and it all came from that one candle, and I don't know why I love it, but I want to do it every week until I can figure out why I feel so light and full and like crying and laughing and flying and curling up in bed all at the same time.


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Violet Wilson

October 2016



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