Dear Santa: All I want for Christmas is normalcy. Is that too much to ask? | COMMENTARY

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a good little girl this year. Well, I understand that little is relative, and most people don’t consider a size 14 as little, but I’d love to see you try to squeeze your butt into a size 14 jeans. I also understand that like beauty, goodness is in the eye of the beholder.


By now, you should have gotten the letter from my granddaughter. She had a good year and only called her brother names when he deserved it. Well, I pretty much followed suit. My husband mostly deserved it when I called him names. The politicians as well, although I must confess some of those names were quite vulgar.

I mostly did my chores this year. Well, the ones that needed to be done anyway. Because of the damn pandemic, we had no company this year, and so why clean house when there is no company? Besides, think of all the trees that I saved when I wrote reminders to myself in the dust instead of on paper.


COVID 19 sure made for a bad year, but I didn’t complain. Not like some people anyway.

“Open things up” they chanted.

“No mask mandate” they yelled!

The governor is a Nazi! They screamed.

Waaa, waaa, waaa! Complain, complain, complain! That’s all they did was complain. Well, maybe I complained a little about the complainers, but at least I wasn’t that judgmental! You know the type. The people that roll their eyes and treat you like a total hypochondriac when you put on a mask. Then there are the folks who, when you mention that you stopped at a store to buy toilet paper, gasp, back away and run around the neighborhood telling everyone what a risky lifestyle you are living.

Speaking of toilet paper, what was all the hoarding about? I just had my typical two-year supply, and, Santa, as you know, it is a necessity, not hoarding, when you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.

So, all in all, I was pretty good this year. But in recognition of the economic fallout from the pandemic, there are no big-ticket items on my wish list. In fact, I mostly want the sort of things that money can’t buy.

I’d love the thrill of being stuck behind a yellow school bus, lights a-flashing as it stops at nearly every block to pick up kids for school. Kids should be in classrooms and not in front of computers.


I’d love to open a public door and not wonder and worry who opened it before me. Had they washed their hands before they opened the door? Had they coughed since they washed their hands before they opened the door? Why can’t all doors have electronic eyes and just open when you stand there?

Oh, how I long to see peoples’ smiles. And even their frowns. I very much look forward to mask-less days, Santa.

Oh Santa, I’m such a hugger, and this year of Coronavirus has put me in a huge hug deficit. I’d love to give you a hug, Santa, and hugs to all my grandkids. I can’t wait to hug my neighbors and even perfect strangers. In fact, I’m so hungry for hugs I will probably hug the less-than-perfect strangers as well.

I miss the days of running to the grocery store for just a single item. And then taking my time, browsing all the aisles, checking for sales and interesting impulse buys. I’d love to go gawk at the merchandise at the drugstore and then rubberneck each shelf at the dollar store. Yes, Santa, shopping use to be a chore, but now I miss it so much.

But most of all Santa, I miss my country. If I could have anything in the world for Christmas, we’d go back to the days when you heard red and blue you thought of our beautiful flag before political parties and remembered that the red symbolized hardiness and valor while the blue represented perseverance and justice. Oh, how I yearn for that kindred spirit of “One nation, under God.”

Really, Santa, I don’t want much. I just want life to go back to normal.


Mary Shelsby is a retired real estate agent living in Ocean Pines, Maryland, and the daughter of a former Sun sports writer. She can be reached at