santa, you are profoundly bankrupt

It was pretty exciting growing up in a home where Christmas wasn’t a big deal. Did I say exciting? I meant shitty.

As my mom tucked me in on Christmas Eve, she mentioned that Santa had phoned while I was at school, and he let it slip that he would be bringing me 49 presents. I was eight.

It took forever to fall asleep that night. I thought about all the different ways I could rub in my bounty to the other kids at school. The fat man was going to bring me 49 presents…and I hadn’t even been good that year!

My little enterprising mind started wondering just how many gifts I could get if I actually behaved. 60? 70? Lordy, if I listened to my parents and stopped hitting my little brother, maybe I could get into the triple digits.

I went to bed that night determined to be a good girl the following year.

I rushed downstairs at 4 am the next morning. I only saw two gifts with my name under the tree. Surely, that asshole was playing a trick on me. Where the hell were my 47 other presents? Was this some sort of sadistic holiday gift hunt? Was Santa going to make me scurry around the house looking for my gifts?

I decided I might as well start with the gifts under the tree. I opened the big box first. Looky here, a Christmas sweater. It was nice, except that it WAS Christmas, so I couldn’t even wear it for another 11 months, and by then it probably wouldn’t even fit.

Then, I opened the smaller box. A Crayola box of 48 crayons.

The crayons came in handy that night. I wrote Santa a note with my black crayon, except for a few choice words that I wrote in red. Blood red.
Merry Christmas, folks.

Any Christmas funnies you want to share?

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  • Audubon Ron

    Christmas is the reason I joined the French Foreign Legion to learn how to use Surface to Air Missiles b/c that fat man was coming down for lying to me and my brother and my sister.

  • areyoukiddingme

    That is hilarious!

    I don’t have any traumatic Santa experiences – my family preferred to wait until after the present opening to start the drama.

  • Corrine

    Another fine example of how our parents consistently screw us up, and that damn Santa…I’m sure he was in on it too!

    When I was 5 I came down on Christmas morning at the butt-crack of dawn to see the pile of gifts under the tree. Well I just couldn’t wait until everyone got up to open them…I decided to take a peek. You know, just peel a little tape off here and there and I would know what was behind the mystery of the holiday paper.

    I thought if I re-taped no one would ever know! Then off to bed I went to wait for the rest of the lazy family to get up in the light of day. I remember laying in bed just busting with excitement of how the rest of my day would be spent playing with all the fun stuff.

    Evidently I wasn’t very crafty with the tape…they found me out. I was banned from said fun stuff…FOR THREE DAYS!! Yep…I’m still traumatized to this day. My brothers got to play with all their new shit while I got to look at a pile of wrapped presents, knowing exactly what I was missing.

    Incidentally, the only present I can remember now from that Christmas was the Jaws/shark game where you had to try and fish stuff out of it’s belly w/o snapping the scary jaws closed.

    Anybody remember/have that game too?

  • Pearl

    Aww! That’s just mean!!

    My first year of marriage, my husband got me a Lord of the Rings calendar and an umbrella.

    I burst into tears.

    He says, “What?! I thought you liked Lord of the Rings!”

    Next year’s gifts were much better. :-)

    Merry Christmas!


  • Marinka

    I love, love that story. Yay for your childhood pain!

  • sweetsue

    When I was six I asked for a typewriter for Christmas. I guess they were too expensive because my dad told me there was no Santa and I wouldn’t be getting a typewriter. I was crushed! (Although I did get the typewriter-my mom must have intervened). Merry Christmas!

  • Annie P. – Get the Frump Out of Your Rump

    I have no real memories about gifts… except one year all I wanted was office supplies. I had asked for a fax machine, a copy machine, and my own office. Just imagine my disappointment when I got paper clips, staples, and post-its.

  • jenfromboston

    Corrine, I want to give 5 y.o. you a hug. Damn, that’s cold. I would have thought it was cute you tried to cover your tracks.

    Day I found out about Santa (think I was in 4th grade…I mean, I had suspected, but I think some neighbors bought another yr out of me by SWEARING ON THEIR GRANDPA that HE HAD HEARD REINDEER on the roof – and HE wouldn’t LIE would he?), saw the box our pinball game/machine came in in my parents’s room before heading downstairs. By my mad powers of deduction, was able to do that math.

    Had to have a heart to heart with my mom on that shortly after…and just to cover my bases, I asked, “So uh, same thing with the Easter Bunny, right?” Uh, yah, Jen.

  • City Mom

    Ohhh…I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. This is the best posts about the holidays I have ever read! I even Retweeted it!

    Why did your mom tell you there would be 49 presents? And did you really only get those two things?

    Merry Christmas to you this year! I hope you get all you are wishing for!

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    audubon- i like your go get’em style. just remember to shoot one for me.

    areyoukiddingme- clearly, you have a very considerate family. we like to start months before the holidays.

    corrine-no, but that game sounds cool. i like to fish things out of belies. wait, that didn’t come out right. I CAN’T BELIEVE you had to wait three days. did your parents and my parents read the same parenting handbook or something?

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    pearl- my husband read your comment. he cracked up. i slapped him on the arm for you. men.

    marinka- time + tragedy = one crabby adult.

    sweetsue- merry christmas! bless your mama, but maybe not your daddy and certainly not santa.

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    annie- “god, these boxes look awfully small to hold all those machines..oh wait, look, post-its. gee, just what a girl dreams about.”

    jen- one year, i pulled open the shower curtains and found our xmas presents. i guess my mom thought i wasn’t going to be bathing for the two weeks prior to xmas? parents…seriously???

    citymom- much thanks. “santa” was counting each and every crayon as an individual present. he needs to go back to math class.


    The image of you, hunched over construction paper, hastily scrawling a hate-filled letter to Santa will fill my heart with joy for weeks.

  • Karen

    Our first married Christmas together, my husband bought me socks. He had this goofy face on and insisted that I put them on, so I did, and found the diamond earrings he’d been hiding for months at the bottoms. The man is simply adorable.

  • Stella

    OMG. I am sorry to say this, but that is hilarious but so, so sad!! :) I have no Christmas funnies to share, except I figured out Santa wasn’t real at a very young age. How? Santa and my parents gifts had the same Christmas wrapping.

  • MOV

    Okay, Miss Flourish, I am SOOOO confused. Does the word “49” in your mother’s native tongue actually translate to “2”? Or do the words “Santa Claus” sound suspiciously like “ugly Christmas sweater”? Just trying to deduce the blatant mix-up.
    ps–are you and your mom close now? if yes, why?
    As for my funny/tragic Xmas stories, I will save ’em for my own damn blog.

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    Noa- of course it would. love you!

    Karen6thsister-your man is the model from which other husbands should be created.

    stella- *classic*…there were a few questions where i had my doubts about that wrapping paper thing…but the denial of a young child can be so strong sometimes

    MOV-she counted each crayon individually. we are close now. why? who the hell knows.

  • Miranda Kaye

    That is genius and mean all at the same time! HAHA It sounds like you’ve gotten over it though :P. Merry Christmas to you and yours! I’m so glad I found this blog :)

  • TheBabyMammaChronicles

    Elizabeth! No wonder you found such a love for shopping later in life! Between this and that sweet doll it’s a wonder you didn’t turn into a child thief! I hope you get lots of grand gifts this Christmas! Like jewelry, and that lovely coveted pocket file folder from Target, you know, for the coupons! ;)

  • thepositiveexperiment

    I DIE.

    Oh Asian parents. Cracking me up.

    My parents never did anything like that. They did lock my sister and I in our room so we wouldn’t come out at 4am screaming.

    Hmmm… probably not the safest thing to do…I’ll probably do the same thing to my kids when I have them.

  • Kendahl, Stepmom Extraordinaire

    I think I would have gone the violent route on that one. Way to keep it together! That’s pretty mean of your Mom, seriously.

    Merry Christmas!


    “Surely, that asshole was playing a trick on me. Where the hell were my 47 other presents?”


    This is just one of the reasons why I heart you.

    If it makes you feel any better, I got a bottle of Jack Daniels in my stocking when I was five. My Uncle threw it in there as a present for my Dad. Only he was drunk at the time, so he took out all my shit to do it…

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    miranda- i was over it the moment i put that death threat to Santa in the mail. So glad to know you, chica!

    babymamma- i love that you know what my heart most desires….that file folder. God, i love that file folder. I hope my husband reads this.

    thepositiveexperiment- that is just so brilliant, i’m thinking about locking Cal’s door now. Seems safe enough to me. I’ll just throw a bag of Cheetos in there and some water. Food, water, shelter…what more is there.

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    kendahl-my crayons expressed some violence. also, i violently stomped on a few afterwards. you know, holiday spirit and all.

    justmakingconvo- this saddens me. i mean, the fact that you weren’t old enough to drink it.

  • RollerScrapper

    Omg the crayons and the sweater! I don’t think I have anything nearly as funny, but I do remember my dad giving me an encyclopedia when I was in the sixth grade, and a record entitled santa bears first christmas when I was in the eighth grade…clearly he had no concept of what a young girl wanted.

  • Kristyn

    No sneaky Christmas tricks on me girl, but I’ve been the bitch before! Well, actually, my brother deserved it. My brother’s present to me, he wrote on the tag “To: Stinky Kristyn” or something like that. It pissed me off, so I decided to get him another gift. He was SO excited that I had decided to be extra sweet and get him another gift. Come Christmas morning, he opened the shoebox-sized box, and voila! A wonderful, shiny new…oh wait, no…just one of his old dress shoes in the shoebox. The look on his face was priceless! Don’t eff with your little sister bro!

  • Velvet

    That’s great! I love it!!

    I don’t think I have anything nearly that funny, though I did go to my parents house 10 years ago, when I was 28, and took a video of Christmas. Watching it now, we all look miserable. My husband said, “Uh, we’re not going there this year.”

  • Elizabeth – Flourish in Progress

    roller- wow. that is so crazy awesome. don’t tell me you don’t still bust out that record every year. don’t even deny it.

    kristyn- here and there, i think, THIS is why krisytn and i get along so well. but now, well now I REALLY know for sure we’re buds.

    velvet-that’s my kind of man. proactively stopping any holiday misery. just one way to say “i love you” this holiday season.

  • Rachel

    When I was about 7 or so and my brother was 11 we begged to open gifts early, we never EVER could wait…(neither could my parents either really)….so my parents relunctantly said we could open one joint gift. We were psyched, so they put the box in front of us and we ripped into it….it was a pair of my Dad;s stinky old tennis shoes…Punk’d was created by my parents, not Ashton.

  • Staci

    When my son was 10, he would drag me away from whatever I was doing to show me the latest whatever he wanted on TV. I joked with him that he was only getting a stick, a lump of coal and a button. That’s all I put under the tree that year–a container with a stick, a lump of coal and a button. I waited for a few minutes to pull out the rest of his gifts. He may need therapy later LOL. I’m gonna have to post that LO on my blog.

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    rachel- man, i bet he was so sad when those shoes ended up mysteriously in the recycle bin. hmmm…wonder which kids could have put them there. =)

    staci- this cracked me up….several times. i love this, you brilliant gal. seriously though, i really don’t know one person who couldn’t use a lump of coal (the gift of warmth) a stick (the gift of protection) and a button (umm….a gift)

  • RollerScrapper

    To be honest I never had the attention span to site through the entire record, since it is a story…but i know exactly where it is at my parents house!

  • Daniel Dickey

    Cute and well put. Also, great job at getting reader comments!

  • Elizabeth – Flourish in Progress

    roller- i can’t think of a better way to spend New Year’s than to listen to the whole thing for once. I bet it’s a fantastic story with a lot of plot twists and character development. I think you’ve been missing out. p.s. today, i was at Hallmark and saw a Birthmas card. It was awesome and I thought of you.

    Daniel- welcome! and thank you! i’m glad the readers comment. the comments are often better than my posts. okay, they are always better than my posts.

  • Amanda

    What an awful Christmas!!

    My parents divorced the day before Halloween when I was 8. My brother and I spent that Christmas with our father. As we were opening our Christmas presents from Santa, I noticed that the handwriting on the presents from our father was the same handwriting from Santa. As this was a revelation for me, I needed confirmation from the only person I felt I could ask. So 8 year old me turned to my 5 year old brother. I found out this summer that I ruined Santa Claus for my brother that year. Oops.

  • Kernut the Blond

    Oh my, that’s funny! I wish you have a copy of the letter to show us!

    I don’t recall any funny Xmas stories at the moment, but you never know what can happen with my memory. :)

    Happy Holidays!

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    Amanda- you can’t help that you were so keenly observant at such a young age.

    kernut- i believe that letter is still on Santa’s “shit list” bulletin board. i saw him at the mall the other day. i think he gave me a stink eye.