Dear Santa,

I’m writing to ask that you please consider keeping my boys on the good side of your naughty-or-nice-list this year. I have a feeling you might be on the fence.

It’s true: their antics can sometimes be over-the-top and overwhelming. And I suspect your magic snow globe, Elf on the Shelf or whatever you use to monitor kids’ behavior shows some hair-raising incidents around our house this past week.

Two broken lamps, one busted ottoman, rocks dumped on the floor, bad words brought home from the school playground, squished eyeglasses, marker scribbles on the basement door, a small stealing incident {all cleared up now}, some pushing at preschool, some climbing on furniture and one instance of running away at Target.

It sounds bad, I know. And believe me – there are days when I’m so ready to call it quits. But I’m writing to let you know that these high-energy, crazy-making boys are also the lights of my life, capable of melting my mama-heart in an instant. I worry that your fancy devices might not capture all those moments, too.

Like the way they held hands in the car on the way to see you yesterday, singing Jingle Bells over and over. Or how Ryder gently coaxed Tru onto your lap, smiling and telling him how friendly you are. They remembered their ‘thank yous’ and didn’t ask for too much {just one thing for Tru: a Thomas DVD, in case you couldn’t quite understand him}.

They are good kids. Spirited kids. Loving, snuggle-bug, sensitive kids. And they believe in you and all the goodness you represent. I fear that labeling them as naughty troublemakers could dim their bright spirits, crush their sense of wonder, and make them doubt the goodness within themselves. I fear this, quite honestly, for all kids.

And that’s why I’m asking that you please keep my boys on your “nice” list. Their dad and I are trying our best to appropriately handle their not-so-nice moments, but feel like accentuating the positives and celebrating the good stuff they do is just as powerful.

You can help us with this, dear Santa. Rather than ask me, as you did yesterday, whether they’ve been good, tell them with a wink that you already know it to be true. Give them reason to feel loved no matter what, to feel good about themselves, to want to prove you right. Place them firmly on your “nice” list, along with every other kid you meet. All kids are good kids deep down, don’t you think? Sometimes they just need a caring adult, a guiding light and a little magic to convince them it’s true. You have the power to do that this season.

I believe in you.

Liv Lane
Mama of 2