Friday, December 30, 2016

Been an Angel All Year

Melinda Palacio
Perhaps the earliest photo of me and Santa Claus.

I have good news and bad news this Christmas. The bad news is I had one Christmas delivery problem. Considering the long line I waited in at the post office in New Orleans, I should have insured every single package. Of course, the one that I did not ensure, a beautiful little dress with birds on it for my goddaughter, was the one package that was ransacked and ripped open, never to make its way to Audrey Rose in time for Christmas. The U.S. post office turned me into Nina Scrooge. This was probably why there was no cute photo blasted on social media or a social phone call to thank me for the gift. I hope that whoever has the cute little dress is twirling and happy. I've been lucky in years past, all the mailing of presents and cards I've done have never met such a terrible fate. It's possible that this incident is simply the first time the post office has confessed to the ill fate of the package and that well meaning relatives simply thought I hadn't bothered sending anything. I did consider sending a lump of coal to my father's namesake, but thought better of it as my brother does not deserve the Christmas slight, even though I haven't heard from him all year. The okay news is that my goddaughter is only two years old, too young to care about gifts and not yet able to make out a long list for Santa Claus.
A lump coal. Perhaps you know someone who received one, or should have?
photo by Karen Kersting

Speaking of Santa Claus, he gifted me with a fabulous present, Thank You, Santa Baby! Like Eartha Kitt's 1953 song says, Been an Angel All Year. I may have been naughty in years past, but 2016 for all its election and grim reaper horrors, finally did one thing right, grant me a good Christmas present.

When my mother passed away, my grandmother was so heart broken she stopped celebrating Christmas and going to the movies, two things she enjoyed sharing with my mother. Most holidays were never the same. I saw all of my mother's brothers again this year when my grandmother passed away in March.  I'm sure some gifts were exchanged back when my mother passed away, but it seems as if the whole family had done away with the practice. Doing away with exchanging gifts was liberating because it was much easier not to expect anything. In some ways, I had also sworn off Christmas and the whole gift idea. However, I always secretly harbored a wish and sometimes even asked Santa Claus for the gift. The wish was to travel to a far away place with warm blue beaches for swimming.
A photo of me and Santa Claus, taken in New Orleans earlier this year. 
So what did Santa Claus bring the mermaid of California in New Orleans? Why mermaid gear: a mermaid ceramic coffee cup, a mermaid charm, duck boots, and a trip to Tahiti! I am not a gambler, but I somehow hit the Christmas jackpot. I have been asking Santa Baby for a trip to a faraway place for a long, long time.


After so many years of harboring the same wish, I came to believe that everything I ever wanted was right under my nose. After all, Santa Barbara is known as paradise. To some it may be a far away place nestled between the mountains and the ocean, the perfect destination vacation. The fact that that the ocean is too cold to swim in most of the year means one should appreciate the few months that a dip in the Pacific is refreshing. Santa Barbara is not too far from the South Los Angeles town I grew up in and Christmas beggars can't be choosy. Imagine my grand surprise when I found a plane ticket to Tahiti left in my stocking! I leave in March. More mermaid adventures are in my future.
Sporting my mermaid yoga pants at Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara last November.

2 comments:

Karen K. said...

Glad you found a good use for that lump of coal! I may need to make it an annual illustration for holiday posts, too. Happiest of New Years to you & Steve.

Mary Helen Lagasse said...


TAHITI will be Christmas in March.
You'll be living in a dream state until then.
Congratulations!

Mary Helen Lagasse