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English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

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Santa hats

By Joanie Buettgen

This Christmas I’ve decided that our two grandchildren have too many toys. When I visit my daughter Melissa, her son’s room looks like it was hit by a tornado. She constantly pleads with Malik, “Please pick up your room.”

I know as a grandmother, her plea falls on deaf ears.

Christmas is two-weeks away and I feel a great need to enjoy the spirit of this beautiful season. So this year, Mark and I wear Santa hats. Mark’s has a cute hand knitted one that was a gift from a friend. And it comes complete with a sparkly pom-pom. Mine on the other hand, has the word Naughty on one side and on the other side it spells out Nice.

As we enter the stores we love to wear children yell, “There’s Santa”!

Mark’s reply is always, “Have you been good”?

Even their parents get into the act, “Well…have you been good”?

As we walk away, we hear in the distance, these families discussing the children and their behavior. Usually it’s positive.

But lately we’ve noticed an increase of crabby people at the malls. I’ve often wondered if these strangers know that they wear a frown. Sadly, even seeing Santa and his helper, doesn’t crack their face into a smile.

Mark and I try to make the most of this wonderful time of the year. And just have fun. Many Baby Boomers are well tuned in to us and always break in to a grin and greet us warmly.

Last week I mailed out our annual Christmas cards. They too were complete with the happy Santa theme. On the outside of the card was a 6-week old lab puppy sporting his own Santa hat.

Now, that our Christmas tree is up, I write my lists of presents that I think our kids and grandchildren will enjoy. The necessities this year are: warm clothes, reading books and a 1st Christmas ornament for our new grandchild.

Recently, we shared a lunch with family and the conversation turned to Christmas.

“Wow,” Jim stated, when I pulled out my Christmas lists. Jim looked shocked and said, “You actually make a list?”

“Yep, I make many lists and they keep my sanity”. And, I constantly update them too.”

As I write this Christmas column I feel the holiday spirit is well within me this year.

All of my family is employed, their health is good, and we are blessed with many joys that we received this year.

“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!”

Joanie Buettgen is “Just another columnist trying out this new stuff.”

Published: Café’ of Dreams,, Minnesota Moments Magazine,, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop attendee.

Social Networking: Blog:,, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.

Santa hats