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6 Things About Dear Santa and Holiday Traditions

By Anne Beggs
December 12, 2023


Last year at my Book Club’s December gathering, my friend, Marsha, shared her experience as the emergency Santa at the Emporium studio where she worked. She had such a gleam in her brown eyes as she told us of having to suck it up and dress as Santa. Concern and trepidation filled her, would she be called out? Santa could not fulfill every child’s wish. I couldn’t let go of the story or the images. My mind ran with it, and I had to write a Dear Santa story. Lots of Dear Santa Stories, actually.


How fortuitous that Paper Lantern Writers decided on a winter theme for this year’s anthology, because I was already writing Dear Santa, and it needed a home.


Even with this great inspiration, the story was hard for me to pin down; there were so many ways it could go. Being the pantster writer I am, and the organizer, I outlined several options to see where the story might go. This blog isn’t a spoiler, so if you are interested in the different variants, please ask me after you have read Dear Santa. Writers LOVE to talk about stories, published or not. BTW, Marsha was the first BETA reader and it met with her approval.


During this 1969ish time period, I learned the craft of creative wrapping from a cousin, June Simmen. She made all her “to and from” tags. Using the wrapping paper from the gift, she cut out fun, holiday shapes – trees, ornaments, candy canes, etc, that had been folded on the “bias”, so they opened like a card. Then she would use felt and cut out the same, larger shape, or a simple geometric and glue the wrapping paper card to the felt, making a lovely, custom “to/from” card.  I never mastered the ribbons she created, but for years, wrapping gifts became as much of an art form as the time spent getting or making the gifts. This was also a gift I could give to my Mom. She was so busy, and not a crafty person by nature, so I got to wrap all the gifts for several years. I was participating, contributing and being so artsy-fartsy. Grand memories of those awkward adolescent years, trying to navigate from childhood to teenager, then to adult.


I had to add a photo of our Vintage Coca Cola Santa, it wouldn’t be Christmas without him.


The holidays aren’t warm and fuzzy for everyone. Not everyone celebrates Christmas. I get that, and my character Katie Rose Thorn learns that. But what about you? Did you write Dear Santa letters? Did your kids? What are your winter traditions? There are so many possibilities.

Anne Beggs

Written by Anne Beggs

Anne M. Beggs writes adventure romance and family saga set in Medieval Ireland. She is a member of Paper Lantern Writers and Historical Novel Society. For more about her books, mounted archery, and horses, please contact her on Facebook or Instagram @annitbella72

View Anne’s PLW Profile

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