Dear Loafers Christmas Edition Vol. 3
Dear Lazy Loafers,
I guess this might not be a very interesting a letter, but all of our Christmases when I was young were pretty traditional. Santa Claus. Presents. Turkey and stuffing with gravy and mashed potatoes. Lights on the house. Nothing weird. Nothing unusual. Nothing different. And that’s what I try to do for our kids now.
They think it’s boring, but I wish we all had more of it. Maybe the world would be a better place.
Deborah L., St. Louis, MO
I’ve been reading the sentimental crap your readers keep posting. Santa Claus, Baby Jesus, Christmas ghosts—big, scary guys up in the sky.
There’s no one up there, and there’s no Christmas miracle down here.
It’s all just Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You one-percenters need to catch up with the rest of us ninety-nine percent and stop serving the corporations.
Get a life and join the real world.
Jordan W., Occupy, USA
Editor’s Note: Normally we don’t print this sort of thing, but it made such a great lead-in to the following letter, we couldn’t resist.
Last year my florist business failed and I found myself with no income and deeply in debt. It was late October, the weather was bad and I couldn’t even afford to pay my gas and electric bills. I piled blankets on the kid’s beds, sold a few personal items and started looking for a job. Unfortunately, in this economy, not many people were hiring. I didn’t mind taking a “menial” job, but there weren’t even any of those where I lived.
When December came around, my kids’ school had a “Holiday Celebration” and requested parents provide refreshments. I didn’t want to spend money on bags of chips and candy, so I did what my grandmother would have done. I baked cookies and cranberry-gingerbread and sent my kids to school with them. They didn’t like it, because none of the “cool” kids ever brought anything homemade, but I didn’t give them a choice.
The next day, one of their classmates’ parents called to ask if I could make more of the cranberry-gingerbread for a party she was having. Of course, she said, she’d pay me.
After that, I was asked to bake more breads, cakes and even make chocolate candies for dinner parties. Then I was hired to cater a Christmas Eve party and a New Year’s Eve party.
I’m a professional caterer and baker now. I make wedding cakes, candies and even supply breads to a couple of local restaurants. I’m still in debt, but I’m the making payments.
What’s the point? I could have given up. I could have surrendered. I could have quit and gone on welfare.
But I didn’t.
Maybe this catering thing won’t work out, either. But, if not, the next business I try will. Or the one after that.
Sometimes we have to make our own Christmas miracles.
Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Susan D., Lincoln, NE
Dear Lazy Loafer,
I don’t know if this is the sort of thing you’re looking for, but one year when I was about ten-years-old, my mother was working on our Christmas turkey. She left it sitting on the counter and went into the next room to do something or other. While she was gone, the cat jumped up on the counter and started eating it. My father came in and saw it and lost his mind. He hated all cats to start with, and ours especially, so he went ballistic. My mother didn’t know what else to do so she put the raw turkey in the sink and washed it with soap and water.
It actually turned out okay, but my brother decided to have some fun. He squirted a little dishsoap into his mouth and sat down at the table. Then he pretended to take a bite of the turkey and started blowing bubbles.
I guess you just had to be there.
Bob J., Pittsburgh, PA
Dear Lazy Loafer,
Back in the 1980s my first husband died. Not long after Christmas, coincidentally, but that’s not where this story is going. Once he was buried, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. I didn’t want to just sit around feeling lonely so I started doing volunteer work. I did some reading at a nursing home, visited with children at the pediatric center of a hospital and walked dogs at an animal shelter. It was often depressing, but at least it made me feel like I was doing something worthwhile.
One morning on Christmas Eve I was the emergency contact for the animal shelter. The sheriff’s department called and said they had just seized over a dozen puppies from an illegal breeding operation. I met them at the shelter, but was at a loss as to what to do with the dogs. The shelter was already at full capacity. I even thought about putting them in closets, restrooms or storage areas but that wasn’t practical.
To make matters worse, I was due at the children’s hospital where I was supposed to help with a Christmas party. I was completely flustered and, not knowing what else to do, I finally packed the puppies into a few travel cages and took them with me to the hospital.
I let the dogs out into the rec room with the kids and, suddenly, it was a merry Christmas. Every puppy and every child immediately fell in love. A couple of hours later, half of the dogs had been adopted by parents and one of the kind doctors offered to temporarily board the rest of them at his ranch just outside of town.
By the way, that “kind doctor” is now my second husband.
Maria A., Reno, NV
Editor’s Note: We’re still open to more letters. Email us with your thoughts. Come to think of it, New Year’s Eve is coming up so, if you have any thoughts on “ringing out the old,” please send them our way at email@example.com.