“Hello Sherri,” he grinned at me.
“Wow,” I smiled, very impressed. “Of all the people you see every season, you remembered me?”
“We meet every December,” he reminded me with an eye roll. “And your wishes are always the same.”
“Would you prefer that I just send my wish list to the North Pole?” I asked.
“Nah, you’re already here. Have a seat.”
Once I was perched on his knee, he asked, “Have you lost weight?”
“A little bit,” I said with a shrug.
“Now that I think about it, you didn’t come to see me last year.”
“That’s right. I had breast cancer.”
“Everything’s OK?” he asked.
“Yep,” I nodded.
“Alright, tell me what you’d like for Christmas,” Santa said.
“I would like the ability to make beautiful sugar cookies.”
“I would like to know how to set a beautiful holiday table, complete with cloth napkins.”
“I want to know how to decorate for all the holidays and whip up delicious meals.”
“Anything else?” Santa asked.
“I have a question.”
“I’m listening,” Santa said as he smoothed his beard.
“All these years, I’ve asked you to please bring me some really awesome domestic skills. But ... you never give me what I ask for.”
“True. I don’t bring what you ask for. However, each Christmas I do give you a gift,” Santa said. “You just never unwrap it.”
I stared at him, confused.
“The gift is to simply be who you are,” Santa said.
“OK, I get it,” I said glumly. “But I’m tired of always being the person who brings paper goods to pitch-in meals.”
“Nope,” I pouted. “There’s no way you could understand. I’m doing well to open a can without injuring myself.”
“Just accept yourself,” Santa said as he patted my cheek. “Now get off my lap. I can’t feel my leg.”
“Thanks, Mr. Claus,” I said.
“No, thank you,” he chuckled. “You’ve finally stopped trying to bake. Remember a few years ago when I lost half a tooth on one of your awful cookies?”
“Can we just put that incident behind us?” I blushed as I slid off his lap.
“Ho, ho, ho, girlie,” he said with a wink.
A former Southsider and an award-winning journalist and humor writer, Sherri Coner resides in southwest Florida. To learn about her books for women and to join her on Facebook, visit www.sherriconer.com.