If you live in one of the five households regularly reading of The Book of Alice (the others being her grandparents and my girlfriend Rachel, who is the sitting VP of her fan club), then you know that Santa—aka UPS—missed Christmas. Alas it wasn’t Santa’s fault, but the misdoing of his elves—aka the store that promised it by Saturday and didn’t mail it until Thursday—that caused the heartache.
So I had to be creative. Along with her other gifts, Alice got an envelope with handwriting that looked vaguely like mine, but dramatically narrower. Hey, it was the best I could do. Here is what the letter said:
Little Miss Alice,
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Sweetheart, I cannot find one of your presents. It must have fallen out of my sleigh. Oh dear. And you have been such a very good girl this year, Alice.
Here’s what I’m going to do: I will finish delivering the gifts in my sleigh, then take a quick rest. The reindeer do get awfully tired, you know. After that, we will get back in the sleigh and fly all around—Constantinople, Italy, Missouri—to see where we dropped it. It might take a few days, but I promise your last present will be here soon.
Very Truly Yours,
And it worked. Whew!
In case you are wondering the bizarre list of places Santa mentioned is derived from locations Alice deems “very far away.” Illinois grandparents, it would have included South Carolina, but Alice and I talked about that the day before and I thought she might be suspicious.