‘Twas the Night Before: Chapter 21: Santa Plays Favorites (Noella)

Noella’s Christmas gifts from Santa are a bit different than Tom’s.

Okay, a lot different.

As you recall, Noella was given a letter by her mother.  That letter laid out the elaborate scheme in which Noella’s true birthday would be concealed from the world, so that her mother need not be reminded of the terrible Christmas when her brother took his own life.

As astute commenter inquisitiveraven points out, the fly in that ointment is that even though Miriam doesn’t want to be reminded of a Christmas suicide, she names her duaghter…Noella.

Noella’s Christmas miracle is that sometime in the night, Santa magicked the letter back into the envelope, and resealed it.

You read that right: Santa used his formidable supernatural powers to RESEAL A LETTER.

I can only imagine the conversation that would take place between our own dear Noella, and the woman who came up with the brilliant suicide-forgetting-birthdate-changing-naming-child-after-holiday plan.


Noella: Good morning, Mom!  Merry Christmas!

Miriam: Hmpf.

N: What is it, Mom?  Are you upset about something?

M: Well, if you don’t know, I’m certainly not going to tell you.

N: Well, fine then, mother.  I’ll just withhold affection from you until you cave.  It works with my fiance!  Withholding affection…now.

M: No!  I can’t take it!  Okay, okay–I’m upset that you didn’t read my letter!

N: How much ‘nog did you have last night, Mom?  I read the letter.  I was so touched to learn about how you’ve lied to me for over thirty years.

M: Nuh-uh.  The letter is sealed.  I saw when I was making your bed.

N: You make the bed of your now-33-year-old daughter?  Isn’t that a bit weird?

M: No, it’s not.  Anyway, I saw that the letter was sealed in the envelope.

N: *starry eyes* SANTA CAME!

M: Wha?

N: Santa came and resealed the letter so that my faith in him would be restored!

M: Uh-huh.  Honey, this Santa thing…

N: What?

M: Don’t you think you’re just a bit old for this?  I mean, you’re 33 now.  You have a Ph.D. and you’re going to be married soon–

N: Well, at least I don’t need a metronome to play an instrument I taught for twenty years, Mom.


*they fight*


Well, that’s how it went in my head, anyway.  D:

In the book, Noella doesn’t find anything approaching a plausible explanation for her mother.  (“I must have sealed it back up.”  What, in your sleep, Noella? 


Oh, and one last thing I forgot to mention last time: Tom’s two-part series about meeting Santa is called…”A Santasy.

It really is quite the commentary on this story that that doesn’t even make my personal Top Five Dumb Things in it.


Posted on December 28, 2011, in Books, Christmas, Twas the Night Before. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Reminds me of how some RTCs see God as helping them with the most trivial aspects of their lives. I had a friend who would pray to God whenever she couldn’t find her keys and attribute finding them to him.

    Yup. Santa will reseal a letter but poor kids are on their own. God will find car keys but all of those suffering people are screwed.

    At least the allegory is consistent here.

  2. *they fight*

    It adds so much when I imagine this with the Star Trek: TOS fight music.

    • How apt that music would be. Given how alien some of the characters in this series are, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were from the Gorn Hegemony.

  3. Wait, what? What is even the point of this letter-resealing? I CANNOT THINK OF A SINGLE WAY THAT WOULD BENEFIT ANYONE INVOLVED.

  4. Holy encouraging mental illness, Batman.

    Classical paranoid schizophrenia, by some definitions, is not about the experiences, it’s about one’s reactions to the experiences. A normal person sees that a book isn’t where he remembers leaving it and thinks “oh, right, I must have forgotten moving it”. A paranoid thinks “THEY have moved it, because they’re trying to get me”.

    So where a normal person might think “I must have dreamed about reading the letter”, Noella comes up with a fantasy in which the sealed letter is a sign of her Specialness.

  5. Headless Unicorn Guy

    In the book, Noella doesn’t find anything approaching a plausible explanation for her mother. (“I must have sealed it back up.“ What, in your sleep, Noella?

    “Until people run to and fro, and knowledge will be increased.”

  6. That is the lamest “Christmas Miracle” I’ve ever heard of.

    I mean, seriously??? A re-sealed letter?

    Oooo, I believe in Santa now, yessirree!

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