New Castle News

December 16, 2013

Lisa Madras: Somehow, some way, some day — Santa WILL pony up!

Lisa Madras
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — What is something you have always wanted since you were a kid?

I was searching though my list of questions, and thought this one was really apropos, since it's only a week until Christmas. I have this really silly thing I do every year at this time, which is basically me writing a letter to Santa inside my head.

I don't have any real logical reason for doing it, except that maybe I enjoy connecting to my inner-child, and I'm going to be flat-out honest here — I think Santa rocks!

I used to scream like someone threw a bucket of snakes on me when my mom tried to make me sit on his lap as a kid, but the old man and I  have a much better relationship these days. (I even get a personalized photo Christmas card from him and the Missus every year ... no kidding! I have it pinned on my bulletin board at work.)

Anyhow, I don't bother him with real letters, since he has all the kids to deal with, and let's face it — it's a coin toss as to which list I'd end up on anyway. But I do like to write the imaginary letter in my head to see what I come up with.

Most years I'm thinking things like a Dyson vacuum and some Vanilla Bean Noel lotion from Bath and Body Works. But there's one thing that has been on my list since I was old enough to scratch out my very first, barely-legible request with a broken red crayon: a horse.

I ask for one of these magnificent creatures (I'd prefer either a Palomino or an Appaloosa, but I'm open to any kind, really) every single year, without fail. The problem is, I'm sort of a city girl, and I'm guessing Santa knows that horses can't survive on a diet of Chinese take-out and McDonald's french fries. Well, that, and the fact that an animal that size wouldn't be real comfortable living in my den. I think that's probably why I've never gotten one.

Contrary to popular belief, I'm not as dumb as I look, and I figured out somewhere in my early 20s that I was never, ever going to get that horse.  But I continue to ask Santa for one inside my head every year. The closest I've ever gotten is hanging out in the horse barns at the fair and gazing covetously at the manifestation of my childhood dreams. Yeah, I'm that person.

I'm cool with it, though. It's something that just wasn't in the stars for me, and I think we all have things like that, don't we? The unattainable dream, the flight of fancy, the "if only." But I'll still keep wishing for it.

Does it make me crazy or stupid to keep hoping for something I'll never have? I'd like to think not. Every one of us has a fire in our hearts for something, but there's only one thing worse than it never coming to fruition, and that's letting that fire go out. I've watched too many people around me give up because they believed something would never happen, or things would never change, or it "just wasn't meant to be."

So what if it never happens? There's only one real moment in your life that you will be absolutely certain that it never will, and that will be the moment you take your last breath. Every moment up until then is still open for the possibility.

I don't know about you, but I want those moments to be filled with fire, not with resignation.  

Who knows? Tomorrow I could make a new friend in the Chinese buffet line who invites me to her horse farm for the afternoon, or have some farmer fall in love with me at the fair while I'm stalking his horse. Maybe, just maybe, if I'm really, really good, Santa will even find a way to fit one on his sleigh for me.

If none of that ever happens, I won't know until my last day on this earth. And until then, I may not have a horse, but I'll sure as heck have a fire.

And that's pretty cool, too.