Yes, Joslyn, There IS a Santa!

Every year on Christmas Eve I try to stay up long enough to search the skies to see if I can see Santa. Juvenile? Maybe. But I don’t care. I know he’s out there somewhere, and I’m wondering why he has neglected bringing me gifts for the past 15+ years!

When I was fifteen I wrote a letter to Santa and tucked it into a tabletop tree because that year our tree was ruined in a flood and my aunt gave us a little one so we wouldn’t be without. With tiny ornaments. Well, no one knew I had put the letter in there and I thought maybe I’d written it too late, or that maybe I should have sent it off. The cost of a stamp and envelope would have been testimonly to my belief. All I asked for, in all sincerity, was world peace. I know Santa can’t deliver something like that. But the letter was still in the tree so I thought, maybe he’s not real after all because wouldn’t he have at least stopped to pick it up? My mom said when it came to Santa and the Easter Bunny there was a cut-off age after I became quite upset one Easter when the Bunny failed to bring me a basket. It wasn’t the basket I was really interested in, but the belief in the fantastical.

The thing is, when you get to be a certain age and you still believe in Santa, people are thinking you’re either being “silly” or “stupid” or that you’re “just joking.” But I’m dead-serious. There is one out there, and faith is believing without seeing, right?

Years ago one of my nieces told me there was no Santa. I argued with her that there was and took the time to explain how he was able to get from one place continent to another so quickly: Time zones! Not just that but if you discount the naughty kids and the kids who don’t believe, it leaves extra time to gift the good children who really do believe in him. That may have been because she had older brothers telling her those awful things about Santa. When it comes to my nieces and nephews, there’s what I refer to as the “New Batch” who are much younger. A few years back one of them went home and told her parents that there was no Santa and for a moment they thought she’d gotten that nonsense from me. Then my brother remembered my unmovable stance on how there IS a Santa and said he knew she didn’t hear it from my mouth. The older kids have grown out of Santa and I still bicker with them about it, but a few days ago, the little one told me that her friend said that he wasn’t real. I explained that her friend was mistaken, and she told me that her friend didn’t celebrate holidays, so I can understand how that might sway her little friend’s opinion. I also explained how religion can sometimes play a part in someone thinking that Santa is not real and hoped she would keep that child-like faith. “Santa’s not bringing her nuuuuuh-thing for Christmas,” said the little one with wide eyes and a hint of Schadenfreude in her voice. I was glad that she wasn’t moved by what someone else had told her, especially because at her age, this should be a magical time in her life.

Now, I’m always seeking out Santa sighting stories. When I was a kid, someone around my own age told me that he’d seen something in the sky and it had a red light like Rudolph’s nose. Now, okay, I’m not sure how I feel about Rudolph since he was created by Montgomery Ward as a marketing ploy if my memory serves correctly. So I don’t know if I can say that Rudolph is real with that same conviction I have in Santa and the Easter Bunny. I mean, a reindeer with a blinking nose? I don’t knooo-oooooow…But if Santa is real, who am I to say Rudolph isn’t? It’s possible.

And then I got another story from an adult a couple years ago. This one revived my hope. It was about something he had seen as a child. And I had to wonder, was it a wild imagining of a kid? Or was it true? I firmly want to believe the latter.

So, say what you will about me and the others who should have outgrown the belief by now but haven’t. I think a lot of us have a desire to believe. My brother said he believes in Santa, but as the spirit of Christmas. That makes no sense to me because Santa is not the spirit of anything! He’s a right jolly red elf who lives at the North Pole and delivers presents! (Sidenote: My brother also told me when I was around fifteen and had written that letter that Santa comes in and claims the older kids as a wife because Mrs. Claus is mortal and he has to seek new ones out sometimes. Then he turns them old and gives them white hair and even though I knew better, that just scared me to death! Me baking cookies with white hair? I didn’t know if I wanted Santa to come that year until I realised that my brother was just plain stupid and trying to scare me…as is typical of an older brother.) My mom also says Santa is the spirit of Christmas, but it seems she believes in an actual Santa because you can’t talk bad about him. If someone says he’s not real, she gets pretty upset. Or if they poke fun at his weight, or say something negative about him, she gets downright angry. Ever since I was a kid, and even now, when we see a department store Santa or one in a commercial that appears to be quite convinving she whispers with a child-like sense of fascination, “I think he’s the real one!”

So…If anyone cares to answer, where do you stand on Santa? Have you ever experienced a sighting, or come into contact with what you believe to be the real one?
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So Happy Holidays to all, and whether you believe in Santa or not, I hope he is good to you this year.

My Life *IS* An Ironic Twist

I’m neglecting all professionalism in this piece, and normally I don’t like to get this personal. But something happened that was kind of funny that inspired me to write about this ironic little twist that has haunted me for the past three years. Some things happen that come back around to you, and in retrospect after the proverbial (or would that be metaphorical?) storm has passed, you find yourself looking back in a passive state of reflection. When emotion no longer rules your thoughts, it’s easier to process everything and just say, “It is what it is.” Thanks to friends and family and forcing myself to take some time before moving on, I can laugh about things now and I was able to get through it all with a more positive attitude. Here’s the story.

I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of the details. The past is past, and well, quite frankly, kinda boring. I’ll merely brief the salient points. The short of it is, I was in love with someone that just wasn’t right for me. I felt like the chemistry was gone and I couldn’t really be myself. But at the same time I couldn’t really just walk away because it was sort of a high school sweetheart type of thing. He had this stuffy uptight air and I would often ask myself if sacrificing who I am, along with my own personal happiness to make him happy, was worth what I *thought* we had.

He decided to go to college which ended up in the remainder of our relationship turning into a long-distance thing. So I was back with my folks and we’d watch America’s Got Talent all the time. Well, the host brought Train out to sing that irritating “Soul Sister” song. I just could not see the appeal! My parents wondered why they had them sing that particular song. I explained that was their most popular and I don’t think they believed me. Then, on The Medium, it was played throughout the entire episode in clips. My mom and I cringed every time the first couple of notes started up. I think the song was even used in a car commercial, too. It would come on the radio and I’d call her in my room so she could listen to this “really great song” that I thought she’d like. At least, that’s what I told her. “You called me in for this? she’d ask, annoyed. Either that or she’d give her characteristic “Mmmmm” sound of vexation which, coming from her, says more than any spoken word. So it was a bit of a joke between us because we both hated that song equally and I couldn’t resist using it against her. And we’d often crack Train jokes.

Now there was a particular song that I loved and when it would come on, I knew, I just *knew*, everything was going to be okay. It came on when I prayed and asked for comfort in a certain situation, and although I’d heard it many times before, it was rarely played at that point. Guess it just sorta grew out of style. But it was like, I’d say a prayer and BAM! It was on the radio! Another time I was about to put a Smiths CD on right after praying but thought I’d wait to see what the next song on the radio would be. It was MY song! The one that let me know that EVERYTHING was gonna be just fine! The first time it happened I thought, lucky timing. The next two times, I knew there had to be something more to it.

So one day, I went on my then-boyfriend’s Facebook page to post something I thought he’d like and some girl posted on his wall. Then I did some detective work. Not hard, since he didn’t try to hide anything. He was friends with her mom, too! I asked him about it because we had a date on messenger that day since he had the day off from school and he got upset with me, saying he didn’t know her, she randomly added him and he was upset because he didn’t know he was going to be harrassed about someone he didn’t even know. Then he deleted his Facebook account. That’s when I knew for certain something was up.

Out of desperation I contacted the girl because he refused to talk about it. She wasn’t the nicest person. I just felt like I had to know whatever it was that he’d been hiding and she was just mean about the whole thing. But I did check out her Facebook page to see if she’d posted anything about him. And there it was. A picture of a fancy dinner he had taken her to as well as another enthusiastic post about how Soul Sister was her song! In another post she said it deserved a Grammy and was surprised it didn’t get anything. I, however, wasn’t. Then I found out Train also sang Drops of Jupiter.

So it was a good long while until I was able to listen to that song again without feeling that typical relationship trauma that we’ve all been through. It’s nothing new, and I’m sure everyone out there can understand where I’m coming from. Whenever that song came on I would struggle to get to the radio so I wouldn’t have to feel that way or think about the pair of them. Now I can listen to the song for what it is: Horrible!

Remember I mentioned that song that gave me hope? This was a couple of years before the break-up incident. I never went out of my way to look the song up because it was one of those chance things. I didn’t want to interfere with that and I didn’t want to know who sang it, nor did I want to hear it so often where I would learn the lyrics because I felt it would lose all meaning. When it was a chance thing it felt more like a sign of sorts, like it was speaking directly to me. Well, when I prayed and it came on the radio, I had prayed for angels. I wanted to know they were there and I needed to find comfort in that to know that I wasn’t really alone. So there I was, and as soon as I finished my prayer, and the first line of the song comes on. “I need a sign to let me know you’re here.” I think it’s called “Calling All Angels.” That happened three times like that. There was only one other time during that span of several years that I heard that song when I needed a boost and there it was.

So today, I wanted to fill my thoughts with positivity so I played stuff like Lennon’s “Imagine”, Youngbloods “Come On People,” and MJ’s “Man in the Mirror.” And I decided to find my angel song on youtube, having no idea who sang it. And as it turns out…It’s TRAIN!

That band, unbeknownst to me for so long, was once my rock! Then they put out this completely obnoxious anthem that played everywhere I went, which became symbolic in my mind of such a crazy time in my life when I felt so alone and frustrated, and made me think of this girl’s smugness and mean-spirited treatment toward me. Not to mention the whole situation with my ex-boyfriend. Soul Sister no longer holds any negativity for me except for how much I still hate it only because of how it seemed to stalk me, and because of how terrible it sounds. And then I find out the one song that helped me to really connect with my spiritual side is by the same band!

I could have gone without knowing who sang it as I had before, merely because I wanted to know when that song came on, it was all about timing. I wanted to feel like it was no mere coincidence, but something a little greater. Something real. I guess it gave me something to believe in.

I think it might have been better if I had not known who it was, because now I can’t get past knowing who sings it. It’s like having a really great meal and realising it’s made with one of your most hated ingredients! You never want to eat it again. Ever! Or maybe a more appropriate allusion would be that it’s more like finding out the meal was prepared by someone who doesn’t believe in washing their hands.

It’s hard for me not to find the humour in the whole thing. Not to mention the irony, if I am in fact using the term correctly. But when we really look back, it’s funny how we can see that through so many other instances in the everyday scheme of things. I see it happening to me and around me all the time. But this time, I stared in disbelief for a moment, and then I rolled my eyes and sighed with a smile.


So…if anyone is wondering what’s been up with me, anyone at all…*crickets chirping*…here’s a quick brief.


Working on my story Pimped to Satan. Hoping to get marketing underway because I expect it to be out within the first 2-3 months of 2013. I doubt any sooner, I don’t want the release to be shuffled in with the holidays. I definitely need some feedback and I would like to know if there are any writers (or anyone in the genre at all) who might be interested in giving it a short blurb for the actual publication of the piece.

I am also going to be adding more words to my YA novel, Forever Gothic. It seems most agencies won’t even look at it unless it has over 50,000 words! It’ll be a breeze once I get started on that but I’m trying to take things piece-by-piece so I can give everything 100% of my attention.

Lastly, I am working on another series of short stories. Don’t know when that one will be published. Actually I’m working on two short story compilations, but one is (hopefully) going to be way better.

Oh! And I also found out that the Anxiety Disorders book that my story…Well, let me repost from Facebook:
“A huge thanks from myself, Charles Day, and the rest of my editorial staff and contributing authors, for the continued success of our Anxiety Disorders Collection, which remains in the top ten paid sales for ebooks in Psychiatry! This is amazing.
Please spread the word about this inspiring book that’s touching the lives of so many. Know someone who would be inspired by these essays of hope, well then, let them know. Also makes a meaningful holiday gift. Thank you!
Edited by Suzanne Robb. Contrib authors Joslyn Corvis, Sean Thompson, Joe Filippone, Deb Johnson, Kim Curley, Vincent Daemon, Jody Johnson, Steven Belanger, Terri Elders. Cover and format by Henry Snider. Executive Editor Hollie Ann Snider.”