Your Funny Stories: ‘Santa’s Not Real?!’

Hanukkah began Tuesday night, and Christmas Eve starts Saturday. We are–indeed–in the Season!

And as promised, today’s special post consists of YOUR stories about how you learned the “truth” about Santa (remember my call for funny stories two weeks ago?). After you read the stories here, post your tale in the comments section below!

And keep the trail of hilarious tales turning:

1) “I was beginning to wonder… Is ‘HE’ real?… But, when my Mom said, ‘Just go look in the closet!’… and finding my Christmas… I was definitely deflated… my balloon had lost its air… I had asked too many times… ‘When is Santa coming?’ …and my joyful , anticipating days of  ‘Santa Claus’ had come to an end with a ‘pop!’… That special feeling of my balloon rising and floating again didn’t come again until ‘I’ became Santa for my own children…”

–Marilyn Griffin, http://babyjill7.wordpress.com/

2) “I was a young, innocent 25-year-old when I learned Santa’s not real. I remember that day as if it were this very morning. I had opened my e-mail in the desperate hope I’d wake to the wonderful news of, at least, a partial request. But instead, I found a grave disappointment waiting for me – a much beloved blog announcing, in no uncertain terms, that Santa wasn’t real! I slammed my laptop shut and rushed through the house in search of fortifying coffee. Once I had a cup safely in hand, I curled up on the kitchen floor and held onto my hope with everything I had. Santa has to be real!”

— Autumn Larrow

3) “During my kindergarten days, one of the ‘super cool’ 6th-grade girls blurted it out to me like a sucker punch in the school yard. I was crushed for a moment, until I realized how cool my parents were to play the game! All of this said, I still believe in Santa Clause … just not in the same literal way.”

— August McLaughlin, http://augustmclaughlin.wordpress.com/

4) On Christmas Eve our father would load us five kids into the car and drive us around Appleton, Wisconsin’s fancy neighborhoods to see all the dazzling Christmas lights. While we were out, Santa arrived. Dang! Missed him again.

A few weeks before Christmas when I was 8, we weren’t snooping, but we discovered that our father’s workshop in the basement—which was always padlocked during the holidays— was unlocked. My brother, oldest sister and I went in, and under a white sheet spread across the work bench stood my Barbie Dream House among all the other things waiting to be wrapped and signed by Santa. I opened my dream present and confirmed my suspicion. Yet, I also realized that despite our big family and modest income, our newly revealed Santas always managed, somehow, to be very generous. And that made Christmas even more special.”

— Deborah Anne Gray, Scottsdale, Arizona

5) “When I was 8 years old, I was THAT kid and totally ruined ‘Santa’ for my 3rd-grade friend! I told her that Santa didn’t exist. It devastated her. Her mom had to call my mom, and I kind of got in trouble, even though my mom secretly thought it was funny.”

— Jessica Williams, http://journalofamom.wordpress.com/

Thanks to everyone who contributed, and DON’T FORGET! Keep it going. How did you learn Santa isn’t … well, you know … and post your story to the comments below.

Happy Holidays!

9/11 is the Day I Learned to Hate

I learned to hate not a particular person, but an idea. A way of thinking. Sept. 11, 2001 is the day I learned to hate organized religions—all of them.

That’s because the night of Sept. 10 was the first time someone I loved revealed his anti-Semitic side to me. He showed me that although he can say words like, “I love you” and “I want to marry you someday,” he also had the ability to say, “All Jews are arrogant.”

I remember I slept in the morning of Sept. 11 because of that fight. I was 19 years old and missed my first class at the local community college. I’d just walked out of the shower, wrapped in towels, when my phone rang. It was my father.

“Are you OK?” he asked me, his voice cracking.

My stomach dropped. How could he know what happened last night? Nervous, I sucked it up and said, “Yea Dad, everything’s fine. Why?”

“Haven’t you seen the news?”

Borrowed from Google Images

Hair still dripping, I flipped on the T.V. and watched in solidarity with the rest of America, as smoke billowed into the heavens  from two magnificent towers. And I knew why my father wept.

My parents are both New Yorkers.

Later they said it was terrorism. They said it was Islamic extremists. But I knew … I knew. It was religion. Divisive. Hateful. Demonic.

Religion was the reason a boy no longer wanted to marry me. And religion was the reason 3,000 people died that fateful day.

 

Remember to love in honor of those who died

Yes, Sept. 11 is the day I learned to hate. You may ask, “Why share my story today, when so many other bloggers will be doing the same—on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11?”

Borrowed from Google Images

Truth is, I’ve never written about Sept. 11 until now. It’s crazy to think we have a whole generation of kids growing up who know nothing but a perpetual state of war in this country. They’ll never know what it was like to fly without paranoia, to live without the Patriot Act, to be at peace with most of the world.

So many died on Sept. 11, 2001. And so many more died serving their country in the wars that followed. So many heroes saved lives, and so many lives were ruined.

I’m writing today to say in these past 10 years—since I learned to hate—I’ve learned to love again. I’ve forgiven myself and found new (and better) happiness with someone else. I’ve learned the difference between religion and faith.

I wish and hope our country can do the same.

In honor of every victim of Sept. 11, I want you to remember that love heals. It pushes the world forward, and it inspires. Let’s never forget Sept. 11 by striving to be the country we were before that fateful day. Let’s have faith in each other again, and honor those we lost by opening our hearts.

MY QUESTION TO YOU: What images and/or emotions does this profound day—the 10-year anniversary of 9/11—evoke for you? Looking back, what has been your greatest lesson, whether in life, or in your writing?

Chompie’s for the Writer’s Soul (Special Post)

I’m shocked I’m not a fat tub of lard today–after all the Chompie’s I eat.

This is the first line of my first guest post, as an official blogger (I guess). The topic? The power of comfort food for creativity.

I’ve been published in magazines all over, but I’ve only been blogging about six months. Therefore, when fellow professional writer and blogger, Leah Singer, invited me to post on her site, “Leah’s Thoughts,” I couldn’t resist!

Come and join the fun. Read about how Chompie’s has changed my life as a writer, how comfort food can inspire YOUR creativity, and share which foods relax you. Read my guest post, Chompie’s for the Writer’s Soul.”

A Miracle off 28th Ave. on Tuesday Afternoon

A miracle took place off 28th Ave. this Tuesday afternoon.

It started with a simple routine walk during my lunch break.

Through the same neighborhood and past the same ordinary houses occupied by the same aging couples. Wearing the same workout clothes, and pounding the pavement with the same 2-year-old tennis shoes.

I continued walking down my routine path this Tuesday afternoon, feeling the steady pace of my feet below, when I heard it. Like an angel singing to me from another dimension, it sliced through the deafening silence of the neighborhood.

Music. Pure, dramatic piano notes dancing in the gentle breeze. Climbing up my spine and into my ears, filling me with an electric energy I hadn’t felt in years.

I stopped in my tracks–searching to my left, to my right. From where did this heavenly melody arise? I knew this tune, one of the first I’d learned as a little girl: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music.

I suddenly realized this was no recording. It was live, and the individual playing was no amateur. Here I was, my work’s I.D. hanging from my neck, toes peeking through tips of old sneakers wearing away, standing in the middle of a retired neighborhood, and enjoying a live piano concert with the sun beating on my face.

My senses led me to the cozy, one-story house across the street from where I stood. With their windows open, oblivious to my undivided admiration, a shadowed face played for me.

Man or woman, boy or girl, I did not know. But their passion sang to my passion, their beauty filled my soul, and I drifted away as their music mounted higher into the crisp autumn air. I used to fall asleep this way, drifting to the sounds of hypnotic notes as my father played into the night.

That’s when I realized a miracle took place off 28th Ave. this Tuesday afternoon. I’d broken free. Away from Corporate America. Away from the cubicles, the computer screens and the repetition.

And I flew.

My Jewish Cat and the Art of Guilt

My Jewish cat, Chance, who has skillfully learned the art of guilt

When hungry, most cats drill their “servants” with shrilling meows, driving them into madness. Not my cat.

Instead, he’s taken another route, skillfully learning the art of Jewish guilt. He doesn’t need to meow. In fact, he protests with complete silence, accompanied by “the look.”

I first noticed Chance had acquired this divine power last weekend, on a Saturday morning. I’d slept in that day, awoken by my own urgency to use the bathroom. Of course, curled up next to me in a furry ball, was the purring Chance.

As I left the bathroom to climb back into bed for a few extra minutes of rest, he merely climbed on top of my belly to cuddle. Thirty minutes later, as I slid into my slippers, he gently followed me down the stairs of my house. Five minutes later, he quietly sat in the kitchen as I prepared my Saturday morning coffee, toasted my bagel and prepared some salmon lox.

When I turned around to the pantry, I saw it.

There, poised gracefully next to an empty food bowl and a dry water dish, sat Chance. His black tail neatly curled around the confounds of his white paws. His fluffy chest held back in an upright position exuding a quiet dignity. And his blue eyes, patiently staring up at me from a dipped head, as if to say, “Did you forget to feed me, Mom? Do you not love me anymore?”

Immediately, I rushed to his side, drowning him in apology after apology, reassurance after reassurance. He received wet food that day, along with a full bowl of freshly filtered, cool water.

Chance understands the power of Jewish guilt, unlike the other whining cats who paw at their servants’ faces in the morning. He understands that time is his ally, not his enemy. And with a little patience, the rewards will far outweigh the wait.

Since this divine power was bred into me, I’ve remained immune to it throughout my life—well, except from my father. Yet, it was a cat who finally broke through the wall, took my heart hostage, and now uses it to wield his will.

And I know from this day forward, I’m in trouble. Big, big trouble.