The Tooth Fairy doesn't have the best reputation at our house.
There have been a few occasions, most notably when our Italian was owed some money in exchange for a tooth left under his pillow, when the Tooth Fairy completely crapped out. It's possible the Tooth Fairy overslept, or went to bed without a single thought given to her responsibilities. The Tooth Fairy, it seems, needs to make herself a to-do list.
The first time the Italian came out to breakfast and informed us the Tooth Fairy had neglected her duties, at least she had the decency to leave a letter in the mailbox explaining how the door had been locked. To this day, I believe she was simply trying to throw blame off on me. The very next time the Italian lost a tooth, he reminded me of my past indiscretion to make sure the flighty fairy wasn't locked out.
Turns out it didn't matter. Yet again the unreliable pixie was a no-show. The Italian, being a pretty smart kid, bolted to the mailbox to find her letter of explanation instead of giving us a moment to reflect on the unreliability of fiduciary fairies. At first we thought she had forgotten entirely, for there was no letter to be found, but there it was taped to the front door. We had somehow missed it when we first went out. Sure enough, everything was my fault. Good for nothing fairy...
The one person who hasn't disappointed is Santa. Not only does Santa visit every year, nosh on some cookies, down a glass of fat free milk and leave a bunch of toys for good girls and boys, he also leaves a note to the kids praising them for a year well spent. Until last year, that is. Somehow, even the jolly old elf himself neglected to leave the traditional note. Oh sure, there were presents, but the kids were mighty disappointed to find Santa chose not to communicate directly with them. It's the kind of thing that raise doubts in the minds of even the most ardent believers.
Since My Lovely Wife and I are the kind of parents who naturally stay up late, it was no surprise for us to step into the living room this evening to find that Santa had already come and gone while we were dozing lazily in our room in front of the television. We could tell he'd been there because some of the cookies had bites missing and the milk was gone. But, most importantly, he left a letter, the contents of which are as follows:
"Dear Sara, Noah & Nathan,
How’s Lily doing? She seemed a little on the chubby side last year when I came to visit, but then who isn’t a little chubbier than they used to be? Oh, that’s right, Noah isn’t! Anyway, I wanted to apologize for not leaving a note last year. Mrs. Claus and I had all of the written out and packed in a box on the sleigh on Christmas Eve. Then, just as we started to get Dasher and Dancer harnessed up for the big ride, I saw Rudolph pull his head out of the box with a whole stack of letters. Yes, that’s right, my reindeer ate my homework... I want you all to know how good I think you have been this past year! You’ve been listening to your parents and minding your teachers. You’ve all received excellent marks at school, and you are wonderfully supportive of all your friends. Keep up the great behavior and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The children will no doubt be delighted to hear that Santa thinks highly of them. I'm just glad to know there's someone in this world who understands the importance of taking responsibility without playing the blame onto innocent bystanders. The Tooth Fairy could learn a thing or two from this Santa guy about customer service.
© 2011 Mark Feggeler