I had to get some advice from my mother in law.
“OK,” I said, “tell me what to do.”
“Well, you have the girls write the letters and then we’ll send them Santa’s letters in reply. We have the paper all ready.”
“But where do I have them send the letters?” I asked, confused.
“Anywhere. The North Pole. It doesn’t matter.”
I mean, it’s not like I believe in Santa Claus (or as Annabelle spelled it, Clause — I know it’s a bad movie, but I’m stealing the title, just for tonight), but I thought there was more to it than that. I’ve never done Santa letters before.
“So they won’t come back postmarked North Pole?”
She just looked at me, probably thinking (but too nice to say), “You, Jewish girl, should not even be attempting this.”
But I am the Jew Who Loves Christmas, something you’ll hear about for the next three weeks til you’re as sick of me as I am of the count ’em TWO continual Christmas stations I’ve been listening to since Halloween. (I know, mistake, I won’t do that again. If I hear Paul McCartney’s “Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time” one more time — particularly when it’s over 85 degrees out — I’ll go home and OD on the first batch of limoncello I’ve already made.)
In any event, the show must go on. So tonight I got out paper and pens and the girls wrote their letters. Annabelle’s was done in a flash, she’s had her list ready for weeks (American Girl doll, Nintendo DS and some video game we haven’t heard of) and even illustrated her note.
Sophie’s letter took longer. For one thing, she kept changing her mind. For months, she’s said she’s asking Santa for “Noggin bath toys” (a la the kids cable network). Recently she added a camera. Tonight it was “a comb and a brush” as well.
I spelled it all out for her:
D E A R S A N T A….and so on.
If you know Sophie well and you look closely, you can make out the letters. Sort of. OK, not really at all. Annabelle was watching so I wrote a separate note reiterating Sophie’s desires, and the three sheets were folded and placed in an envelope. Each girl put a stamp on the envelope and Annabelle addressed it to the North Pole.
Tomorrow we’ll put the envelope in the mailbox, and I guess I’ll run home and get it back after the girls are at school. Or maybe not. Who knows — maybe it’ll make it to the North Pole.