With each new holiday comes new insights that last a lifetime

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    Do We Really Have to Tell the Truth? Can’t we pretend a little longer?

Do We Really Have to Tell the Truth? Can’t we pretend a little longer?

Author’s third grandson, Kai, meeting Santa for the first time

It was early December 1958 when my life fell apart. Mom had the house beautifully decorated for Christmas, and I’d just written my letter to Santa when a nasty friend of my older brother felt this was the time to tell me the truth—that Christmas was a lie and there was no Santa. Running to my mother, I sobbed in her arms. Then, through my tears, I begged for her to tell me the truth.

“Do […]

My Year of Hope

The Year 2020

Since becoming a mom nearly forty years ago, every January 1st I would sigh in relief that the whirlwind of the holidays was over, and that it’d be another long twelve months before I had to gear up again. How I loved the reprieve from worrying about presents, the over-indulgence of food and sweets, and all the hoopla that goes with the season. But with COVID-19 this past year, time seemed to march by slowly. So slowly, I found myself wondering, Will […]

The Gift of Support

Months of endlessly pestering had finally paid off. The end of 8th grade was coming in two weeks, and I was determined to get an early present, even if it killed me.

In 1965, I was thirteen and completely flat-chested. While the other girls flaunted their lacey symbols of womanhood under crisp white uniform blouses, I sported a cotton tee shirt. I was what people called a late bloomer. Spring’s first bud had yet to form on my bony body, but I was adamant—chest or […]

Through the Eyes of a Child

Racing into the kitchen with excitement in every breath she took, Jenni announced she was preparing a snack for Santa. The year was 1994 and our home exquisitely decorated for the Christmas season. But staring at my precious doe-eyed child, I became concerned when it hit me: at eleven-years-old, she somehow missed the memo Kris Kringle was just a fairytale.
Pulling her older sister aside, I asked, “Michelle, did you know Jenni still believes in Santa Claus? I fear kids will make fun of her […]

The Gift You Won’t Want to Return

With my nimble fingertips ripping through the paper, I couldn’t wait to open my Christmas surprise. Mom had been eluding to it all week; how cute it was, how wonderful it would look on me and that it was the perfect color for my complexion. Throwing the paper onto the floor, I tore the box open, pushed the tissue aside, then gasped in horror.

“What the hell?” my snarky sixteen-year-old self wanted to growl, but held inside. Instead of some hip outfit that would attract […]

The Perfect Holiday Gift

Dressed to perfection in my new athletic apparel and spiked shoes, I stood at the tee with a license to kill in my gloved hand. Knowing the importance for a swing with precision, I slowly raised my $250 driver meticulously over my right shoulder, then, without hesitation, let it rip.
“Ugh!” I cried, my face burning as the all too familiar sound “swoosh” stung my ears and wounded my ego. Once again, that stupid little ball defied contact, and I stood humiliated ready to […]