Dear Santa, a form letter


What I want for Christmas:

(Check all boxes that apply, even if you’re Jewish, or you stopped believing years ago;
use exclamation points for things that warrant them)

√ Happiness                √ Hired help                        •Success

√ Wisdom                   √ Health                                •Puppy

[ewww!] Fruitcake    • Wealth                                ! Superb regift

• Garden gnome         ! Freedom from guilt        √ No regrets

• Self acceptance       • Wad of cash                     •Personal growth

! Perspective               ! Parking karma                • Brand new car

! A clue                          ! Therapy  (massage)       • One of everything

And don’t forget:

Not to slight you, Santa, but I don’t see “a visit from a companion spirit” on the form, which is what I really want. (Three !!! for that one.) Oh, I know they’re around. I often feel him riding shotgun or hear the little redheaded one in my head cheering me on. But my father doesn’t make himself known, and I never see any of them. Is that because becoming embodied after the bodies are gone is just too difficult, or is it simply unnecessary?

Here’s what I want, Santa:

My angels dancing, not on the head of a pin, but out in the yard where I can see them. They beckon to me as the last of the crunchy sycamore leaves decorates the greening lawn. And I hear their music, not heavenly chorales, but a bouncy bopping tune that even I, the klutz with two left feet, can follow as I make my way to them, to him, the tall, bearded one who married me 33 years ago today, on a cold, clear morning just like this one, my hands as icy then as now. On the right one I wear a ring inscribed with his name, and he takes my chilly hands in his, warming them instantly, and we dance and dance and dance.

Thank you,



Cliff Polland and Jan Haag, December 17, 1983



About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor
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3 Responses to Dear Santa, a form letter

  1. Carolburnett says:


    What a lovely tribute to Cliff. Your writing is beautiful.



  2. Team Haag says:

    Lovely, Jan!!!!

    > Laura Martin > email: > phone: 916.718.3296 > > “Every cloud has a C=9 M=3 Y=0 K=48 lining.”


  3. Ursula Stuter says:

    ❤ "and he takes my chilly hands in his, warming them instantly, and we dance and dance and dance." ❤

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