“In life we all have an unspeakable secret"

Ande Bliss

Ande Bliss
November 04
Essays, poetry, opinion and short stories. Free lance on line and in print. Favorite quote: "In life we all have an unspeakable secret, and irreversible regret, an unreachable dream, and an unforgettable love.” ― Diego Marchi Personal Website:


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DECEMBER 14, 2011 9:48AM

Santa is Alive and Well

Rate: 11 Flag



Photo on 2010-10-24 at 11
Ann and Annie

I have always loved Santa. What is more wonderful than a character who is a symbol of love and joy.

I grew up in a Jewish household, and yet my parents never dissuaded me from hoping Santa would find me.

Chanukah was our holiday and like Christmas we anticipated gifts and special foods. My grandfather made elaborate puzzles for us to open; the heart of which was always a silver dollar. It was a festive time and I thought us lucky to enjoy the lights and merriment of Christmas in the community, as well as Chanukah at home with our family. 

In those days, teachers were allowed to give little boxes of candy to children. Trees were decorated with paper chains in class rooms. We sang carols and no one objected. (of course we pledged allegiance to the flag every day and listened to psalms too.) It seemed to me that Christmas belonged to all of us when we were in school. I loved it. 

I grew up in post WWII America. Manufactured good were now plentiful and the country was booming. My dad bought a new car and we were moving to the suburbs. I am not sure what prompted the question, but I did ask my parents if I might hang stockings on Christmas. Perhaps fearful that Santa might not find my new house, I still held out hope he would visit me, even if I was Jewish. 

And just that one time, they said yes. And miracle of miracles.... he came. He found me! On Christmas morning, I rushed to the living room and my two stockings, hanging from our mantel, were each stuffed with a Raggedy Ann and Andy doll.

At some point, I must have figured that  Santa was my Dad..but it didn't matter. We pretended together and that was just as good. What was spectacular was that he bent in my direction as an expression of love. Religion and tradition had nothing to do with it. 

I do not have the original dolls, however the one pictured above was made for me by a friend. Ann sits on the shelf in my home office where she and Annie remind me that life is about hope, compromise and love.

No matter how educated we become and how cosmopolitan we think we may be, there is always a child inside. And that child should continue to believe in heroes. Santa lives!










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I'll be wandering from window to window on Christmas Eve scanning the sky for some slim brightness streaking by...
I think my first Channukah gift was a Davy Crocket Coon-Skin Hat. I loved Fess Parker.

Linnnn....that is lovely. There is no doubt in my mind that you will find brightness in the sky. Thank you
Jon, I remember one delayed Chanukah. My brother was in service and my mom waited for him to get home before we could open presents. Under the stack was our very first "stereo" and so you can imagine that it was a very long wait.
Thanks for this nice story of Santa.
And thank you, Mary. I hope this holiday season is one of joy for you.
Ande - it's a joy to be reminded to look for the brightness. Thanks for this.
Thanks Elizabeth. And to you a million beams of light.
"Religion and tradition had nothing to do with it. "

You are so right. I grew up without a Santa, but I live my life in a Santa frame of mind where the child in me never left.

Happy holidays, my friend.

Jane, you are wild and adorable. A woman for all seasons. Enjoy the holidays.
Fusun...Thank you. And happy holidays to you. May Santa always be in your life.
I love this, Ande, says one Pollyanna to another. -R-
Good morning Christine. Writing has a wonderful side effect. We look for new material and find it amongst our 'old material'. I guess I am a Pollyanna.

Middle child, trying to please.
Ande,you stepped right into my heart.Thank you!
Your wisdom is heartwarming.
I especially enjoyed your remark about the parallel festivities.
Have a blessed Chanukah,Ande,and enjoy the bright sky when Santa and his raindeer are passing by your house.I surely hope he finds you.
Thank you Heidi...I always appreciate your kind words. I wish you a happy holiday season and even better....a wonderful and prosperous new year.
An Adoreable post and a good memoire of the balance of the Chaunakah season and Santa. I love the dolls. Looks like an Anne I had!!
Beautiful Christmas story, Ande. I got a Raggedy Ann doll as a child too, not sure if we still have it. Rated.
Hello Brazen Princess...thank you so much. I hope you enjoy your holidays. We will be with our oldie friends in FL. No children, which is sad, but we have warm memories and dear friends.
Oh, Erika...if you can find Ann get her out for the holidays. Ann (s) are treasured, I do think it is because of their perpetual smile. No matter how bad the day...your Ann doll will help make it better. Enjoy the season! :)
Erica...thanks again. Sorry for the misspelling prior. :)
My favorite part is the sweetness that transpired between you and your father. Lovely.
Thank you Jane. It is when we lose them that we remember.
I appreciate your comments. Enjoy your holidays and make some memories.
Wonderful memories of hope.
Thank you for finding me so that I could find you.
I will be back to read more of your posts.
rated with love
Ande, sweet story. I have one such as this - but I'm not ready to let it go yet. I'm also a middle child. R