Out of the Mouths of Babes

At my age, it’s fair to say I’ve seen quite a few Christmases. One year stands out in particular. I was about six years old. My daddy was in an explosion and had third degree burns on his face and upper body so that Christmas he was in the hospital. My mother stayed nights at the hospital with him. My older sister who was married santa.gifkept me and my younger sister. I was terrified that my daddy might die and I missed my mother. When I went to bed on Christmas Eve I was full of worry and dread. Coupled with everything else I was afraid that Santa would forget me or that he couldn’t get into the house because the door would be locked. We had no chimney so the door was the only way in. Sometime during the night, my mama came home and put out the Santa gifts. I felt so warm and loved the next morning when I woke up and saw that not only had Santa come but my mother was there too. It was one of the best feelings. My daddy eventually recovered and lived to age 69.

We had many more Christmas’s but that was one I remembered most vividly.  I don’t remember ever writing a letter to Santa, but I seem to remember calling the North Pole. I was shaking like a leaf to think I was calling him on the phone and that he’d actually talk to me. So funny.  santa-sleigh.jpg

Children can be so honest and direct. They sometimes infuse simplicity into the complications of an adult world. I always love to read their letters to Santa. Some touch me deeply and make my heart ache and some make me howl with laughter. I hope you get a kick out of a few I picked out. 

Dear Santa, I am so excited about you coming to our house this year. I think I have been a good girl this year. I hope you bring me a Barbie. I also hope you bring my daddy home for Christmas. He is in the Air Force and he is off fighting the bad people that hurt our Country. It would be very nice to have him home for Christmas. I will leave you milk and cookies again this year because you seem to really like my mommies cookies. I hope you stay warm and safe on Christmas Eve.    Your friend, Megan 

Dear Santa, I heard that Rudolf shoots lasers out of his nose to protect the North Pole. Is it true?  — Michael age 9 

Thank you for the remote control car last year even though it broke the day after. I know you tried and that’s what counts.  —Alex age 8  Dear Santa, please send a message to my sister in heaven that I love her very much and wish her a happy Christmas.  —John 

(This little boy reminds me of my worries that Christmas long ago.)Dear Santa, I love you very much. Please use the front door we do not have a chimney. Don’t forget my daddy gave you the key when I was born.  —Thomas  Dear Santa, I’ve been a really good girl. I’m going to have a new baby brother in March so please watch over him until he gets born.  —Andee 

Dear Santa, please put diapers on the reindeer this year so my dad won’t have to sweep poop off the roof. And I’d like if you leave me some toys but make sure no girl stuff.      —Marcus  Dear Santa, PLEASE!! Do not bring me clothes for Christmas. I want fun things. 

Dear Santa, I’m sooooo sorry for being mean to my little brother. I bet you never had to put up with that. I’m not saying I don’t love him. He just really gets on my nerves. Well, I hope you have a great Christmas and I hope I’m still on your good list.  —Emilee 

And finally — Dear Santa, it’s hard in fifth grade. Maybe you could make my teacher give us no homework for a whole long month. Thank you.  —Kellie 

christmastree2.jpgThis is my last blog until January and I want to thank all of you who made P&P’s first year a resounding success. I wish everyone a very heartfelt Christmas. Do you have a special memory of Christmas that you’d like to share? Or maybe a letter you or your children might’ve written to Santa?

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Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!

24 thoughts on “Out of the Mouths of Babes”

  1. I’m going to tell a story that I don’t want my name attached to…for obvious reasons.(shudder) I’ll let you all guess who I am.
    When my oldest daughter was still a preschooler, I found this really beautiful story about the real St. Nicholas…you know, the Catholic Saint. It told all about his life, where he lived, his service to the church, his generous loving gifts to many children and why he became the patron saint of children.
    I was (seriously!) trying to teach my child the true meaning of Christmas.
    Well, included in the story was how St. Nicholas became elevated to Sainthood and how his grave became a shrine visited by Catholics still, even centuries after he died.
    So, not long after that, my very bright little daughter was chattering along with a group of children while I sat having coffee with a mother or two, and I hear my very bright little daughter say loud and clear, “My mom says Santa Claus is dead.”
    All the mother’s just looked at me in horror. The whole room just died into complete silence.
    I obviously got out of there alive but I don’t remember how. In fact, I think I had some short term amnesia and even now am suffering post traumatic stress syndrome.

  2. Oh Linda! Those letters had me laughing and tearing up!

    Anon- Oh MY!!!

    When I was in kindergarten I had to write a letter at school and I asked for rollerskates. I got them and then my dad and grandpa took me down in the basement Christmas morning. I fell and busted my butt and never learned to skate because I didn’t want to hurt my tail anymore! LOL

    Last year I wrote a letter from Santa to be left on the empty cookie plate for the kids to find. I can’t find it now, but it was something to the affect that “I know you’ve been improving in school” for my stepson, “Keep working on potty training” for our daughter and thanking them for the cookies and milk.

    My stepson just turned 9 and he’s really starting to question whether Santa is real. He’s asked me repeatedly if I still believe in Santa because he knows most grown ups don’t(from Polar Express- can’t hear that bell) but I tell him I do still believe and relate a story from my childhood…

    When we first moved into the house my parents now live in, I was 4 years old and my parents and a couple of grown cousins were up playing Monopoly Christmas Eve and I was laying in my bed and I heard bells jingling. I jumped out of bed and looked out the window. I saw “something” red flying across the sky and I ran up the hallway squealing that I saw Rudolph. That Santa had been to our house.

    Of course, what I saw was probably a plane’s light…but I like to believe…well, you just never know…;o) But then, I also believe that so long as you enjoy the festivities and keep your heart believing like that of a child, Santa still exists, even when you’re an adult. That makes it all the more fun when YOU become a parent and get to play Santa to your own children.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Linda and all the P&P Fillies! Hope you enjoy good food, good company and best wishes. Please be careful if you all have any traveling to do this holiday season! Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be Safe!

  3. Hi Linda,

    Those letters are priceless! Thanks for sharing. Kids say the darnest things, they both teared me up and made me laugh. Your story about your father and mother touched my heart. I can only imagine how frightened you were when your father was injured and how brave your mother was during all that time, not forgetting your Christmas.
    Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!
    And the same to all our friends at Petticoats!

  4. Oh, she can’t read yet LOL…she sometimes thinks she can, but not quite yet. (She starts kindergarten next year)

    No the letter was for both of them, but for my stepson to read for him and her both. ;o)

    My daughter is being as stubborn as her brother was when it comes to the potty. She’s fine on use the potty, she was then too…it’s just the bed training that has me pulling my hair out. I thought a note from Santa would encourage her to try harder if she thought he knew she was still working on it.

  5. Good morning, Ladies.
    I remember Christmas mornings when I was a kid. It’s all kind of blurry though. There were eight of us, a classic baby boom family I suppose. So I’m third from oldest, one of the ‘three big girls’ which was, to me, a very cool place to be in the family.
    Not sure why, I just loved being one of the three big girls.
    Lots of my memories must include only a few of the younger members but it seems like all eight of us were there together, all the time.
    We would sneak out to the tree really early, I mean insanely early, like 2:30 or 3:00 a.m. and there would just be this middle of the night riot as we tore open gifts.
    We were really poor so we didn’t get much but, multipy ‘not much’ times eight and there was a mountain of presents.
    We lived really close to my dad’s mom. Grandma Moore. I remember one year looking out the window and seeing her pulling a little red wagon toward the house, piled high with presents.
    Now my Grandma Moore was not your classic cuddly old grandma. The woman was seriously cranky. But we were her only grandchildren and she loved us in her cranky way, in fact we were her whole world I think.
    Her, pulling that wagon and those brightly wrapped gifts was so cool to see. And it helped me remember that gruff but loveable Grandma really did have a soft heart, deep, deep, deep inside. 🙂

  6. What a wonderful post! The letters were just precious and thank you for sharing your story, Linda.

    Merry Christmas!

  7. Those are cute letters.

    I was one of those kids who stopped believing in Santa at a young age and would tell my friends so all their mothers would call my mother to complain! I always had good Christmases so none really stick out in my mind, except one. One year my mom actually filled my stocking which wasn’t something she did. My stocking was knitted for me by my dad’s cousin so it was big and stretchy and would haven taken a lot to fill it. Well, one year Mom did, with handmade barbie clothes and beds. I still remember alot of the outfits she made and I still had them when I gave all my barbies and clothes to my cousin’ daughter about ten years ago.

  8. Foolish Mother, I don’t think you’re so foolish. You meant well and was only trying to make your daughter understand about St. Nicholas. Children have long known the best time to embarrass us to death. This doesn’t pertain to Christmas, but one time I was in a store with my daughter who must’ve been about five or six. She saw a woman pushing a stroller and looked inside. Then my daughter looked up at me and told me quite loudly that the baby was the ugliest she’d ever seen. I died a slow, agonzing death. Children are something else.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Thanks for sharing your story.

  9. Hi Taryn! Loved your story about the skates–how badly you wanted them before you actually got ’em. That’s so true a lot of times. We lust after things, crave them with all our hearts and then find out the object wasn’t what we wanted at all. I’ve had that happen a lot.

    I’m glad you still believe in Santa because I do too. We need something to give us hope in a dark world, something that we know will always be there no matter what. And bless you for writing the Santa letter for your children! I hope you keep Santa alive as long as possible.

    Thank you for making P&P your new home and always coming to comment. I wish you much success with your books. I hope 2008 is a shining year for you! God bless and keep you.

  10. Charlene, I’m glad you enjoyed reading some of the Santa letters and hoped sharing my story of that Christmas long ago wouldn’t make me seem an uncaring brat. I loved my daddy but for all I knew he wouldn’t ever recover. I guess I figured I’d already lost him. I felt so lost that night when I went to sleep. Looking back, my mother must’ve been exhausted but she made the extra effort to be there when we woke up and to give us a few Santa gifts. I don’t even remember what they were. I’m sure it wasn’t much because we didn’t have any money. The part that just stands out so clear was my mom being there and hugging us. 🙂

    I hope you have a blessed wonderful Christmas, my filly sister. And I wish you lots of good luck for 2008!

  11. Mary, eight children was a huge family and I can only imagine the trouble you might’ve gotten in from time to time. Yes, being one of the three oldest girls was a fine place to be. You could boss around the little ones or mother them if they needed it. I’m sure your mother could’ve used a stand-in occasionally. 🙂

    That was a touching story about your grandmother who always seemed cranky. What a wonderful glimpse inside her heart. She did love you, but she probably didn’t know how to show it. I’m glad you got to see that bit of softness in her. Thank you for sharing that memory.

    And thank you for being my new sister filly! I think you’re a welcome addition and certainly add something rare to Wildflower Junction. I wish you lots of success in 2008.

  12. Julie, thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the Santa letters. Children have such a way of saying things. I hope you have one of the best Christmases ever and that 2008 brings you nothing but joy and happiness! I say if we can make our little corner brighter it’ll help change the world in some way. Take care.

  13. Hi Lynn/Elsandra! Ha, you must’ve been a regular little scamp when you were young. lol Your mother probably wasn’t very happy when she had all your friends’ mothers calling to complain. But kids will be kids and we just gotta love ’em.

    Thanks for sharing that special memory of the year your mother filled up your stocking with handmade Barbie clothes and the doll beds. Just think of the time and effort that took to sew so many little outfits. I can imagine the love that went into each tiny stitch. They must’ve been made well to have lasted so long. That’s a treasured memory for sure.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family from all of us here at P&P!! 🙂

  14. Wonderful post, Linda. I love your worries about not having a fireplace…my best Christmas was our newborn daughter surviving a near-fatal bout of meningitis. The doctors informed us on Christmas Eve that she would survive–and have no residual damages. He was right! God is good–she recovered totally and is now a beautiful cum-laude college graduate with a good career. So I feel for you wanting your daddy to be hale and well… I for one just love Petticoats and Pistols. Thanks, ladies, for always giving my day a special boost. Merry Christmas!

  15. Tanya, God works in mysterious and wonderful ways. I’m so glad your daughter recovered from meningitis and that you got news from the doctors on Christmas Eve makes that a miracle. I believe that Christmas Eve is magical. We seem to have a direct connection to God on that night. And thank you, dear lady for dropping by each day and supporting our site. You’ve become like family to us. Merry Christmas!!

    Mary, now you wouldn’t pull my leg would you? Eight children and countless opportunities to get into mischief? I’m believing that when I see it. 🙂 Your poor mother didn’t have a prayer.

    Estella, I’m glad you enjoyed the Santa letters. I thought we could use some smiles and maybe a lump or two in our throats. Thanks for popping in and helping make our day. I pray that you have a wonderful Christmas and much happiness.

  16. I probably waited too late to tell my most memorable Christmas story. Dang it! My mother and, for those that don’t know,Linda had a special relationship. Linda sent her a picture taken at a booksigning and immediately Linda became one of Mother’s daughters. When she was in her final fight with cancer, folks would come in and ask about the picture at her bedside … Linda. Nope, she didn’t have one of any of her four daughters or granddaughters, but one of she and Linda. Now back to the Christmas story. Mother was a quilter. One of the old fashioned ones who pieced and hand quilted everything. Tiny, precise stitches that made me envious. I inherited her stitching, but never learned piecing. My corners always look like a first grader matched them. But they say it’s the love behind every quilt that matters, not the quality.

    Mother passed away two August’s ago, and my sisters and I agreed that we’d no longer exchange adult gifts, since all of our kids had grown up. But, Mary (my sister who lived with Mother) showed up on Christmas Eve with huge boxes … one for each of us girls and our daughters. I was kinda put out because we’d already agreed not to exchange adult gifts. She just told me to hush up and put them under the tree. She’s my baby sister, but when she says “hush” I do it, since she doesn’t say that very much to me. When all the little guy’s gifts were unwrapped, Mary gave each of us a box. Each one had our names written on it in Mother’s script. Inside was a handmade quilt for each of us. We had made them after she found out she had terminal cancer and had hidden them in the closet, knowing eventually Mary would find them.

    Needless to say, that’s my favorite, heartwarming Christmas story. Merry Christmas to all, Phyliss

  17. Phyliss, that is so beautiful. Thanks for writing that us about this. Quilting, it’s so against my nature to sew. 🙂 But writing a book, that’s like piecing dozens or hundreds of little things to gether to make something big and (hopefully) beautiful.
    If you write it right, it might even keep you warm on a cold evening.

  18. Phyliss, you’re such a sweet friend and fellow writer. That story about your mama always brings a lump to my throat. She was such a wonderful lady and I’m blessed to have had the honor of meeting her. She loved you so much and showed it in a huge way. I’m glad you have that memory to hold onto. The quilts were very special tokens of her love.

    I wish you the best Christmas ever, full of laughter and family! I look forward to February when Give Me a Texan releases and you, Jodi, and I get to travel together. Take care.

  19. Thanks, Mary and Linda. My love for the lost art of quilting almost always shows up in my books. In Give Me a Texan, a quilt causes some friction between my hero and heroine. Such wonderful memories everyone shared on this loop. And, oh yes, there’ll be lots of laughter and family when my kids from San Antonio get here and I have both of my daughters, sons-in-laws, and all seven grandkids together. I plan to be tired, how about you girls? LOL Hugs and Merry Christmas to all, Phyliss

  20. Aww, Phyliss- I just now read your story! That’s such a touching beautiful example of love.

    Linda, I also wanted to thank you for your kind words and encouragement. All of you ladies here are great and every time I come on here I feel like I’m being welcomed in with warm hugs.

  21. Phyliss, Shoot I’m already tired and my company hasn’t even arrived yet! Too much stuff to do to get ready for them. It’ll sure be nice though when they get here. They’ll fill this empty house with so much love and everything I won’t have to time to feel sad. You just enjoy yours and think about all the fun we’ll have doing our book tour.

    Taryn, you’ll always have a big hug waiting for you here. You’re very special to us. I hope we have helped in some small way to give you encouragement. You have a great Christmas and remember to count your blessings.

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