A big Texas thanks to everyone who stopped by to put in a good word for Ed with Santa. He scoffed when I told him he would be getting a lump of coal this year, but the cute factor evidently saved him.
As a small token of his appreciation, he plucked two names from my Stetson (before shredding the hat).
Susan P and Kathleen O,
Ed drew your names! He’s sending each of you a Wishing for a Cowboy ebook. The Christmas anthology from Prairie Rose Publications contains not only heartwarming tales from eight popular authors, but also recipes for all kinds of Christmas goodies. He’ll be in touch shortly, ladies.
Ed, Miss Li’l Ol’ Biddy, Dog, Underdog, and I wish everyone the merriest of Christmases and much health, love, and laughter in the new year.
You’ve probably heard by now that I’ve been bad this year. All those things? I didn’t do them.
For example, I did not snap at my brother, repeatedly. I was showing him what good dental hygiene looks like. And anyway, if he hadn’t tried to usurp my spot in Mom’s lap, somebody who wasn’t me never would’ve snapped.
I also didn’t hop onto the kitchen counter. I climbed up there using a stool. If Mom hadn’t left the stool in such a convenient spot, that wouldn’t have happened, either.
The trash bag incident was the fault of a marauding pack of wild Chihuahuas who broke into the house while I was occupied trying to remove a squirrel from the premises. Have you ever seen the mess marauding Chihuahuas make? It isn’t pretty.
As for the bathroom trashcan… That was my brother. He’s always committing crimes and then pointing the paw at me. Let me tell you, Santa, he’s no angel. I was just trying to clean up the disaster.
When I dragged the roast out of the shopping bag, I was trying to help Mom put away the groceries. Do you realize how flimsy the packaging is on meat? Someone at the grocery store needs to address that.
Likewise, I did not rip open the bag of dog food. “Ripping” is too strong a word. I carefully chewed off a corner—and I only did that so Mom wouldn’t have to wrestle the bag open on her own.
As for peeing in the house… That rule simply isn’t fair. Mom pees in the house. I’ve tried to teach her to go outside, but she’s stubborn. And besides, there’s no DNA evidence to support her claim that she caught me in the act.
I did not drag the clean sheets out of the laundry basket, scruff them into a pile, and lie on them. Everybody knows sheets are much more comfortable on the bed.
Neither did I hide Mom’s shoe. I was redecorating, and Mom left her shoes in a spot that completely destroyed the aesthetic. One shoe created a pleasing avant-garde effect. Two shoes was one too many.
Mom was also to blame when someone bit her nose. She shouldn’t have tried to trim my toenails. I go to great trouble to grow my nails to the precise length required for gardening (which, by the way, isn’t being bad, despite Mom’s insistence she hadn’t planned to put a plant in that spot). It was just a tiny little nip, anyway.
I did not leave teeth marks on the corner of a book. I was checking to make sure Mom’s editor hadn’t missed anything embarrassing. (Mom is notorious for mixing up words like “desert” and “dessert,” you know.) I had to turn the page somehow.
And speaking of her editor… I admit I typed a message into a chatroom where Mom was conversing with the Prairie Rose honchos. I can explain that, though: The minute Mom stepped away from her desk, I could tell gossip was about to erupt. Was I supposed to sit quietly and let them savage Mom while her back was turned?
The accusation that I ate the tamale Mom was going to have for lunch is nothing more than a vicious rumor. There is not the slightest bit of evidence a tamale was ever on that plate.
I also did not find a chicken bone in the yard and attempt to run off and gnaw on it. That was another case of me trying to tidy up the place. Indoors isn’t the only part of the environment around here that could use a good cleaning.
In my defense, I should mention that I try to atone for all the bad things I don’t do by being a fierce watchdog. Nobody gets into my house—not burglars, rapists, ax-murderers, or Mom’s family. (You can’t be too careful, and some of Mom’s relatives look pretty sketchy.)
I hope you will keep all of this in mind when you decide who’s been naughty and nice this year. Just to be sure there’s no mistake, I belong on the “nice” list. If you have to put someone around here on the naughty list, I think it should be pretty clear by now that Mom’s the real troublemaker.
I hope you will bring me my own treats. Otherwise, my brothers and sister will just claim I stole theirs. I would never, ever, contemplate snatching a treat out of someone else’s mouth, no matter what the others say.
If the cookies and milk are gone when you get here, it’s because there’s a marauding cat in the neighborhood, too.
(Ed would like to convince someone to vouch for him to Santa, and he’s willing to stoop to bribery to do so. Leave a comment telling him what you want for Christmas. He’ll pick two commenters and send each an ebook version of the Christmas anthology Wishing for a Cowboy.)
It’s almost unreal that we are only a week from Christmas. I’m proud to kick off our two special holiday weeks with my favorite letter to Santa. Like everyone else, I always wrote letters to Santa when I was a child, but when I went back and pulled out an old box of “stuff” I found this letter to Santa. I hope you enjoy.
I’m sure you don’t get many requests for a present like what I’m asking.
Santa, could you please bring me our little baby boy, Charles Robert Paul Miranda. The doctor told me today that he’s ready but just not willing to face the world yet. So if you could hurry getting him into the world, I’d appreciate it. I’m even enclosing a picture, so you can see we’re ready for his arrival.
Now, Santa, you might ask how I know we’re having a boy, but we’ve done all of the practical things to tell us which sex we’re having.
Since girls are naturally sweet, if I’m carrying a girl, I’d crave sweets. But I don’t. I prefer sour and salty foods.
Of course, I’ve been told by a zillion people that I’m carrying a little boy because I’m carrying him low.
Now this one I’m not so sure about but a lot of women have told me that if I lead off with my right foot, it’s a boy. Frankly, I thought I had been doing that all along, but apparently not, so that’s another indicator we’re having a little boy.
But the one that is 100% sure is, “One Ring to Bind Them.” A friend suspended a gold ring on a string over my tummy. It swung side-by-side, so I know I’m carrying a little boy. Otherwise we’d be having a little girl if the ring took on a circular sway.
Santa, now I have to go because my back is hurting and I’m tired, so I’ll finish this letter tomorrow!
Three weeks later!
Well, Santa, I didn’t forget you but couldn’t get back because I’ve been in the hospital twice trying to have our little Christmas present. The tiny one was pretty stubborn.
We ended up in quite a dilemma, since we’d already promised Bob’s dad and my dad that their grandson would be named after them. Well, what do you know … little Charles Robert Paul Miranda ended up being Kathleen Louella! Yes, a little girl. This picture is one of my favorite. I’ve tagged it “Bob the Baker”. I have no idea why her daddy had to dress up like a baker just to see her, but rules are rules!
Well, Santa, I guess I shouldn’t blame you, but since you’re such a precious man, I know you can take it. We were so sure we were having a little boy, as well as knowing he’d arrive by Christmas, so could I ask you for a name since we had none picked out for a girl? The last examination I had in the doctor’s office, the nurse asked what names we had in mind and I told her. Then she said, “You know it’s not 100% positive which sex you’re gonna have until you deliver … don’t you?” I told her we were 100% sure it was a boy, but if it turned out to be a little girl, we’d name her after the nurse, who we knew well.
So now Santa we have our baby girl and although you didn’t get her here before Christmas Day, we’re very happy with your choice … our little Kathleen Louella Miranda.
Well, dear Santa, I’m putting this letter in safe keeping and when our second little girl comes around, I’ll send it all to you.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
To one reader who leave a comment, I will give you an autographed copy of Wishing for a Cowboy. A short-story collection of eight stories with some written by a sister Filly. Good luck to all!