I Really Miss the Impractical Wishing of Christmas Lists

Yesterday, a friend of mine shared this glorious, glorious piece of Internet with me through Facebook.

Click me!

This image is just basically a link to go to the article. Click it and giggle. Thanks, Deadspin!

Click here to read the amazing thing, right now, in another window so you can come back and read this RIGHT AFTER.

Before that very moment, I had never actively considered parental responses to Christmas Lists. I sort of let all those badly-written, pleading letters to Santa drift away in my brain. Surely they were not a source of entertainment for my parents*.

*In hindsight, I think maybe I’ve been sort of dense.

In honor of this revelation, I have decided to recreate some of my childhood Christmas lists, as I remember them, with my parents’ respective responses as I imagine them. Because I believe in sharing.

Letter to Santa, Age 6:


Terrible handwriting recreated for effect and realism. And no, “GIJOs” does not mean I was asking for giggalos. 

Parental Reaction:
Awww! She wrote a letter to Santa! Precious!
Dad: She cannot have a kitten.
Mom: And honey, she wants Star Trek!
Dad: She cannot have a kitten.
Mom: We should get her a kitten.
Dad: She cannot have a kitten.

Letter to Santa, Age 11:

Kiss kiss, Santa

I was not above buttering up Santa. Or dotting my i’s with hearts.

Parental Reaction:
 Awww! She wrote a letter to Santa! Precious!

Dad: She cannot have a kitten.
Mom: And honey, she wants world peace!
Dad: She cannot have a kitten.
Mom: We should get her a kitten.
Dad: She cannot have a kitten. 

Letter to Santa, Age 14:


I was really not going to give up on Santa. Or a kitten. Even though I already had a cat.

Parental Reaction:
 Honey, I’m concerned. She wrote a letter to Santa!

Dad: She cannot have a kitten.
Mom: Does she still believe in Santa?
Dad: She cannot have a kitten.
Mom: We should get her a kitten to help her feel better.
Dad: She cannot have a kitten.** 

**Point of fact: I got a kitten for my 15th Birthday. PERSISTENCE, people. It pays.

Growing up and giving up Christmas Lists is something of a tragedy. You lose your hopeful, unreasonable gift optimism. Now, when crafting my Amazon Wish List (the closest thing to a “List for Santa” my adult life offers), I pause to think about the feasibility of someone actually getting me that gift.


For example, I have not even once put this on my Amazon Wish List. And you know I want it.*** 

***In case you’re shopping for me, Stepney’s makes it. Click the image for a link!

Nowadays, there isn’t even one kitten on my Wish List. The magic is dead, people.

Also, You Should Know I Have Opinions About Santa

So, until I reached my full-and-independent-adult-life*, I didn’t really think the whole “Santa” thing was optional for Christian** families in America. My parents did it, and Santa is everywhere. There was clearly an undeniable math formula.

Is this not how magic works?

Is this not how magic works?


**Or agnostic. Or atheist. Or just capitalist-supportive.

But now that I’m older, I know different parents make different choices for various reasons. And all that’s just Jim Dandy and delightful. However, I*** am a huge fan of Santa. Even when I found out that Santa happened to be Mom and Dad staying up really late and eating all the cookies, it still floored me that there were two people who were willing and able to make the world a magical place for me.

***Totally childless, non-parent me.

So basically, by reading my blog, you’re running the risk of being exposed to lots of nostalgic, Santa-inclusive stories. You have been warned.

Also, Target has bananas again.


Just in case you were worried.
I know you were worried.

A Type A Personality in Recovery

Alternate Title: The Blog Post Where I Might Offend People Related to Me

Is there a Type A Personalities Anonymous?

Because there should be. We’ll call it TAPA. There can be TAPA meetings held in bars, because AA claimed all the church basements and community centers*.

*Like bars for alcoholics, these places can be temptations for TAPA members. These locations host too many potential gatherings we can aggressively take over.

Type A Personalities Anonymous

Everyone who attends assumes they’re running the meeting. It’s remarkably like The Hunger Games.

Hi. My name is Cait, and I am a Type A Personality.

…This is the part where you all say “Hi, Cait.”**

**Crap. That’s being bossy, isn’t it? Do I have to give back one of my chips? I brought chips, you know. Just in case we needed them. I know other people said they were going to bring chips, but I just wanted to make sure we had them.

I’ve been this way since I was a child. I was probably born this way, but since all babies are pushy and demanding, it’s a little hard to tell.*** Also, babies are rapidly forgiven due to abounding adorableness that doesn’t carry over into the teen years and adulthood. Also, the fact that they were just born kind of factors in there, too.

***I feel I should clarify here: I do not hate babies. I think they’re dandy.

This is totally admissible evidence.

Here is a picture of me holding a baby. In drawing form. To prove that I totally don’t hate babies.
Drawing me apparently has pigtails.

I come from a long line of Type A Personalities. We’re generally unapologetic about it. We’re a line of driven over-achievers and problem solvers. We’re advisers and do-ers. We could organize armies, and tend to think in the long-term.

We also stress, yell, scream, are prone to fits of unreasonable anger, and sulk excessively when people don’t listen to us. We are aggressive. We can’t delegate or trust others to complete tasks without facing the impulse to check and recheck their work. We work too much; we burn out; we are almost physically incapable of muting our opinions when someone is so obviously doing it wrong.

So, basically what I’m saying here is, there are some upsides to being Type A, but there are also a lot of drawbacks. Drawbacks that make you want to tear your hair out.**** And also apparently contribute to heart disease and other stress-related conditions that are total bummers. Thanks, personality.

****And make me want to tear my hair out. Type A’s are not exempt from being frustrated with themselves. And others. We are super good at being frustrated with others And inanimate objects. Also inanimate objects.

For years, I never saw a problem with my alpha-girl tendencies. Clearly it demonstrated that I had confidence! And was smart! Right?

Not even close.

Pig tails make me serious

Illustrated me apparently wears pig tails even when sulking.

I’ve come to recognize my need for hands-on control to be a major flaw. For most of my life, I couldn’t let things go. The smallest thing not working would drive me into a frustrated rage. Coincidentally, this fury fixed nothing, and only left me feeling angry and the people around me feeling awkward. Any problem-solving skills my brain could generally draw on were blocked by anger and rage, totally negating the perks of being Type A.

So for years, I’ve been working on recovery.

If you’re not a total Type A, this might sound silly. If you’re a Type A with no regrets, it sounds even sillier. I’m sure some Type A’s never seem to have these problems, and I’m positive even more don’t realize it. But I’d really rather not fly off the handle at everything, or let stress sabotage my health******, or make people feel like they need to walk on eggshells around me.

******I do that just fine on my own. Me and my marshmallows.

Recovery is hard. I use my dad as my example. He taught me to laugh at myself, and he also taught me that getting super mad at little things is pretty much in our genetic code.******* And he taught me how to take a deep breath, and that sometimes the only fix for things not going your way is to take a little alone time.

*******This may sound like a weird lesson, but when I was little I thought it was just me, and I was completely looney tunes. Turns out, I’m possibly completely bananas, but only about Shark Week and the impending giant squid takeover.

And my mom taught me to laugh at absolutely everything else, so that helps too.

But I still think we should all have meetings. And chips. Definitely chips.

Who wants to bring chips? Don’t worry about forgetting to bring them. I’ve undoubtedly already overplanned and brought extra.

P.S. – In other news, someone totally found my blog yesterday by Googling “Spider eggs on a Christmas tree.” I think that means I win Google.



There Isn’t Enough Suffering in Christmas This Year

So. it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And I’m finally ok with that. Because now it’s actually December.*

*And all Americans, no matter what religion or creed they are, know that Christmas – and it’s more politically correct counterpart, ChristmaHannaKwanzikah – lasts for the entire month of December until the dawn of New Year’s Eve.

I understand that Thanksgiving came late this year. That’s hard on the wild world of commerce, I know. There’s less time for massive holiday profits. Which is really what American holidays are all about.**

**I’m not criticizing. I totally love getting stuff. I am a true American.

But that’s no excuse for having decorated for Christmas before Halloween.

Santa is supposed to be building toys on Halloween

I went to the mall on Halloween. In my costume. And this is what greeted me.
This is taking the Nightmare Before Christmas a little too far, guys.

Halloween is sacred to the youth of American. And Thanksgiving is a sacred, essential part of easing us all into overly crowded, stressful family gatherings in the name of love.*** So it’s pretty uncouth to skip right over those holidays and jam holly and mistletoe down our throats before the line of December is crossed.

***Don’t worry my family. I’m definitely not talking about us. We are, of course, special, and all love each other in a drama-free way. Definitely. Our family gatherings are the ideal model for Thomas Kincade paintings.

Bruce Campbell wasn't there

In case anyone was wondering, we celebrated Thanksgiving in the refurbished Evil Dead cabin.

But now it is finally December. The time for the crisp scent of Christmas-tree pine, and stressful holiday shopping in overcrowded stores. It’s a time for merry, multi-colored lights and egg nog****  In short, we have finally hit the holiday season, and I’m a hundred percent behind it.

****Or soy nog, for those of us with a stubborn hippy streak. Or lactose intolerance. Bonus!., if you’re a drinker of soy nog, NO ONE ever steals your glass. 

But lets get down to the true meaning of Christmas: The tree.

Christmas is not Christmas without a murdered tree shedding impossible-to-vacuum needles all over your carpet. Christmas is not Christmas without trekking out into the snow to sort through hundreds of trees to pick exactly the right one. Christmas is not Christmas without men swearing under their breath as they tie the tree to their cars, scratching the roof, while women try to entertain sticky children who are fighting in the parking lot.

We all know this to be true.

But I still helped decorate my parents’ totally fake tree yesterday.

Thousands and thousands of spider eggs

Seriously. Ever since that one time I picked a tree full of spider eggs, I don’t get a vote anymore.

The above image is pre-decorations, but I’m totally proud of my garland stringing skills.

I want to be mad about the plastic and the pre-packaged lights. But I have to be honest: This tree went up in less than 20 minutes, I didn’t have to untangle a single light, and absolutely zero spider babies tried to eat me. Also, no vacuuming was involved.

Convenience is taking the suffering out of Christmas, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.