Greetings, Mr. Claus! I hope this finds you well! I fear that I have some explaining to do. To clarify, I am not apologizing. But, I thought I should justify to you how it is that I, a lifetime member of your nice list, suddenly found herself wishing to be on the naughty list. I am hopeful that once you hear what I have to say, you will decide that my wish really doesn’t make me so bad!
I suppose that my current predicament began long ago when I was just a little girl. Like most young women, I was always told to “be a good girl.” It seems that to be a good girl, we must always conduct ourselves as prim and proper, soft-spoken, and perpetually put our own needs behind those of everyone else. A good girl is always agreeable, patient, well-mannered, and stays in line.
Being a good girl prepared me to be the kind of mom who willingly makes sacrifices for her kids and the kind of wife who made a beautiful home and lived to serve her husband. Manners, grace, and avoiding making waves made for a reasonably calm and quiet life. Forgive me, Santa, but I grew tired of biting my tongue, always being last, not speaking my mind, and not getting to surf some big waves!
Santa, a good girl is supposed to always be a lady, look pretty as a picture, and strive for perfection. Her actions should never cause others a moment of worry, a bit of shame, or give anyone something (negative) to talk about.
Santa, good girls grow weary of tiresome beauty routines and torturous devices and procedures like girdles, waxing, and fasting to stay looking younger, trimmer, and ready to grace the cover of a fashion magazine! No offense, big fella, but we’re not all as confident as you about gaining a few pounds or developing whiskers on our chins!
Just once, Santa, we good girls want to eat the whole chocolate pie, comfortably strut in public in our favorite sweatpants, and not weep at the sight of wrinkles or gray hairs! Would it be so bad if we good girls cared a little less about what others think of our appearance and allowed ourselves more grace for our imperfections? Santa, it’s actually those imperfections that make us each unique rather than like a line-up of identical dolls on the shelves of your workshop. We don’t have to be Barbie to be beautiful!
Santa, I’m tired of always being the one who cares enough to be punctual, prepared, and organized! Sometimes, I just want a free pass to press the snooze button a few times and to show up when I feel like it. Sometimes I know it all, and other times I just want it to be okay if I let others do the running around and stressing out while I sip some coffee and savor a beautiful morning. Sometimes I fantasize about just getting in the car and driving or shredding the agenda. Is that wrong?
Santa, I’ve lived a life afraid to say what I really think because it would be wrong to offend or speak out of turn. I’ve come to realize that what I have to say might be of value to others. My words might not always be PC or crowd-pleasing, but I have a lifetime of wisdom and experience and a vast supply of snark just going to waste if I continue to sweetly smile and bite my tongue. I’m ready to tell them all what I really think! Sure, they may laugh, gasp, or agree to disagree. But my truth is as valid as anyone else’s, and I’m sure it doesn’t make me a bad girl for being heard!
Mr. Claus, coloring in the lines is tremendously boring! Of course, there’s always a time and a place to behave, cooperate and do as expected; but, life is too short to not fully experience all the colors, variety, and sensations available to us. I want to express myself, feel, taste, and see everything I possibly can, and know that I have fully lived my life when my life finally ends! I’m sure you must understand.
“Mr. Claus, coloring in the lines is tremendously boring! Life is too short to not fully experience all the colors, variety, and sensations available to us. “
I assure you that I have nothing truly evil or mean up my sleeve. I have no intentions to hurt anyone, break a law, or break a heart. I just want to step on the wild side a bit! I want to stay up too late, have obscene amounts of fun, laugh too hard, and feel a rush of adrenaline as I take some chances and walk on the edge! That doesn’t make me a “ho, ho, ho!”
Maybe I’ll skydive, swim with the dolphins, or eat raw cookie dough- who knows what this wild and crazy girl might do? Of course, I know that I may sustain a twisted ankle upon impact or an upset stomach from binging chocolate chip cookie dough; but, no pain, no gain!
Santa, sometimes I desire to be a bit selfish. I always let everyone else go first or take their pick. Maybe, next time I’m at the store, I won’t buy Moose Tracks ice cream for them but instead pick Cherry Garcia ice cream for me! Maybe I will take the first shower before everyone else makes the water cold. Perhaps, just once, I’ll pick the movie without even asking for others’ opinions because I really want to see it!
Do you see how silly it sounds that to a good girl being bad means being assertive and standing up for what she wants? I want all other good girls out there to know that seeking our happiness does not need to come at a cost of dignity, respect, or feeling like we’re not entitled to be who we are and reach for what we want in life! Your mission is all about bringing happiness to others, Santa, so surely you understand that being good shouldn’t have to mean denying ourselves, just as being “bad” doesn’t mean we’re truly naughty and wrong!
Dear Santa, please feel free to add me to the naughty list for this year and maybe next, as well! I would also like to invite all the other members of the nice list to take their chance to be bad in the best possible ways. I’m not trying to start a movement of irresponsibility and disregard for all things good, but I think it’s time we all received the gift of going off script, spontaneity, and the ability to let go! I’m looking forward to a little self-indulgence, forgiving myself for not always washing every dish in the sink, and an occasional leave of absence from being practical and predictable.
I promise that I’ll still have plenty of time to be thoughtful, generous, helpful, and an all-around decent human being. I’ll be careful not to lose sight of what really matters. And, if I get coal in my stocking instead of a candy cane, at least I know that coal has a diamond inside- just like me!
Merry Christmas, Santa! I know you have a lot to do before your big day, and so do I! For starters, I’m going to sip wine and take a bubble bath instead of writing out 100 fake, sappy holiday cards. I’ll enjoy making a big batch of chocolate covered cherries, and maybe I’ll keep them all for myself! And, you bet I’ll be watching a marathon of my favorite holiday movies instead of attending that terrible office party. It’ll be great!
So, safe travels to you and the reindeer. Don’t worry about me and my naughty status. I’m rather looking forward to all the good I can do by being bad for a change!
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