The Keyser’s SS Club – Welcome! – November 2014

Background:  Dec. 25th, 2013 – upon opening a Christmas gift for her pet, left by Santa, Holly discovered a sticky note with the word: Shimmer written in my cryptic handwriting.

That was the beginning of the end.  All of the dots were connected.  Accusations flying.  There was no way of getting around it.  About a week after Christmas, Greg said to Holly,

“Did you lose a tooth?”
“Yes!  Two days ago and I’ve been hiding it from you (both)!  I put it under my pillow and the tooth fairy hasn’t come yet!”

As the 2014 progressed, it was inevitable that this was the end.  There was no more believing.  So, as the holidays grew near, and we were planning our trip to visit the Nordstrom Santa, I wrote this letter and presented it to Holly on Thanksgiving.

November 20, 2014

Dear Holly,

This year you will be inducted into the Secret Santa Club.  This is an organization of many, many people who believe that Santa is the spirit of Christmas which makes miracles happen and dreams come true at Christmas time.   It might be as simple as a wish for snow on Christmas Eve or as important as feeding the hungry.

Many, many children and adults believe in Santa.  I do.  It’s something special that happens to you unexpectedly but mostly because you are kind to others to begin with.   Take your actions for example:  Last December, this was you


with your girl scout troop.  You stood out in the freezing cold night (20 degrees), without complaining, and served hot food to the homeless.  The homeless.  Think about that.  People without homes.  They were living in tents.  Going back to their tents where it wasn’t much warmer than where you were standing.  But you were there, feeding them hot food, which you shopped for and prepared; food that they needed to live and otherwise wouldn’t have received.  That’s the spirit of Christmas.  That’s giving.  You were their Santa.

And what is magic?  You know how fun it is to trick someone into thinking that the card on top of the deck is now in the middle?  It’s the surprise on their face when you pulled off the trick.  You made magic.  That’s what parents do every birthday, every time we give you a gift – but especially at Christmas.  When we save up money to buy something extra special, just for you and your brother and sister.  It is magic when we see the look of your faces Christmas morning; when we surprise you with something that you wanted.  How did we know?  We listen to you all year long.  We watch you grow into the wonderful person you are becoming.  Kind to animals, your friends; helpful to us and your community, your school.  We try to anticipate what you need with what you want.  We give and you receive; and that is magic.

But now, it’s time for you to be in the Secret Santa Club.  Where you give, as well as receive.  First rule of the SS Club:  You do not talk about the SS Club.  Second rule of SS Club:  You do not talk about the SS Club.

No one knows about it.  You cannot speak about it; because you do not know who is in the SS Club or not.  Many families have many different beliefs, and it would be heartless to tell a friend what to believe in.   If a friend asks you about the SS Club, you say, “You should talk with your parents.”  It is their parents’ job to tell them, not you.

Now, onto the good stuff:  What will our Keyser Secret Santa Club be?

This Thanksgiving, we will gather the whole family around and draw names out of a basket; you cannot draw your own name.  The person’s name you draw, you have to buy a special gift for.    On Christmas, we will open those gifts.

During December, we will give our time and talents by making stockings, cookies and caroling with the Girl Scouts, and buying presents for the MQP giving tree and donating to Hopelink and Eastside Baby Corner.

In addition, this year, the entire family will attend the “Nutty” Nutcracker performance at McCall Hall on Christmas Eve!   Something we haven’t been able to do, because of last minute ‘Santa’ gift wrapping and preparations.

And if we’re not too tired, from our trip to Seattle, we’ll attend Christmas Eve mass.  Because the vigil Mass for Christmas, held on Christmas Eve is one of three masses that are part of the Catholic celebration of the birth of Jesus; Christmas Midnight Mass and Mass on Christmas Day are the other two.  And for us Catholics, this is the true meaning of Christmas.

Welcome to the Club!
With love,


Holly - Dec 2004December 2004 – picking out the Christmas tree(Holly 7 mos) Holly - Dec 2005December 2005 – setting up Mom’s trains (Holly 1 ½)
Holly - Dec 2006December 2006 – Enjoying great-nonnie’s thortena cookies (Holly 2 ½) Holly - Dec 2007December 2007 – a visit with the big guy at PEPS friend’s house, Elisa and Monique (Holly 3 ½)
Holly - Dec 2008December 2008 – Christmas caroling with friends, in the snow! (Holly 4 ½) Holly - Dec 2009December 2009 – Reading all of the Christmas classics (Holly 5 ½)
Holly - Dec 2010December 2010 – The annual family trip to the zoo on Christmas eve. (Holly 6 ½) Holly - Dec 2011December 25, 2011 – down the stairs Christmas morning (Holly 7 ½)
Holly - Dec 2012December 25, 2012 – the gift of giving! (Holly 8 ½)

Holly - Dec 2013December 2013 – annual trip to visit the Nordstrom Santa and gingerbread houses. (Holly 9 ½)

During the visit to the Nordstrom Santa in 2014, when the big man asked Holly what she wanted to for Christmas, after much thought (Santa started the Jeopardy tune), Holly said,


“World peace, to end hunger and homelessness.”
Santa said that would be the greatest gift of all!

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