Santa Claus is coming to town (on a plate)

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For me, it’s difficult to remember the day

my parents sat me down to tell me that Santa doesn’t exist.

Maybe it is somewhere deep down in the part of my brain labeled:

“Cara’s Suppressed Childhood Memory Bank.”

It’s quite possible that the trauma of such news

sent me into a tizzy

that I immediately blacked it out from my memory.

Or maybe, when my parents told me,

I chose to not listen…

[Wouldn’t have been the first (or last) time].

In fact, as cheesy as it may sound, I’m not really sure I ever stopped believing.

That is the funny thing about faith, isn’t it?

Sometimes it’s not hard facts or data that we need in order to believe.

Sometimes it’s enough to become a believer,

knowing that a particular belief brings sheer joy to your life.

It never gets old for me to watch

my sister’s little girls’ eyes pop out when they see that

on Christmas morning, Santa not only ate all of his cookies,

but he had the time to write a scribbled out message back to them.

I love how the cynical, critcal side of their brains

have yet to kick in and to them,

there isn’t even an option in their minds

that it was their auntie who ate all of their cookies

and wrote a sloppy written note with her left hand, signed as Santa.


  • 1 container We Can’t Say It’s Cheese, smoked hickory flavor, formed into a ball
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped small
  • 1 black olive
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper

 That is the purest form of faith, in my mind.

That the human condition can hold on to hope

in the midst of a bleak reality,

that is the miracle of faith.

 And it is that faith that my nieces use every year

as they leave a plate of cookies and note for Santa.

They know their cookies will be eaten.

They know a note will be returned.

And there is something so magical about it for to me watch it in their faces.

Even when our deepest logic tells us it’s not possible,

sometimes it’s just nice to have something to believe in.

Even with how cynical I might become with this world,

that is one thing that I never want to lose, regardless of its lack of logic.

Because in my opinion, it’s always good to have hope…

even if hope comes in a red suit with a white beard.

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  1. I just keep coming back to these pictures and laughing. This little Santa just makes me giggle so much!!

  2. I love Santa! You’re never too old to believe in this jolly man!
    I am totally digging the healthy Santa too made of cauliflower and bell pepper, so so fun and cute!!! :)

  3. aww.. that is such a cute santa! only at that age are found pure happiness, joy and the untainted giggles! growing up is over rated:)
    i want my tooth fairy! ahh unfortunately or fortunately i am not dropping any teeth right now.. so maybe the tooth fairy will visit in another couple of hopefully decades. Have an amazing day!

    • Growing up IS overrated! haha. Here’s my promise to you: When we are pushing 80 years old and all of your teeth fall out and are in need of dentures, I will squeeze my gut into a leotard and tutu and pay you a special visit. Do you prefer your winnings in quarter or dime form?

  4. Really beautiful post Cara! I believe exactly the same. I’m 15, and I remember as i got older, I found out about the tooth fairy, easter bunny, etc., but for some reason the thought of a non-existent Santa never occurred to me. I began to ask my parents, “is there a Santa?” over and over until my dad finally said “what would you do if there wasn’t?” That was enough to send a child in to hysterics. He tried to restore order, take back his words, but when that failed, he simply asked “why are you crying?” I responded “because then all the magic in my world will be gone…” The rest of the conversation is blurry, but strangely enough, as the years went by, my belief that there was, without a doubt, a Santa grew stronger. Each day, we realize that the world can be a sick place, and every December 24th would be no different…however that little piece of hope, of possibility, shows me that the world can be a glorious one as well. Merry Christmas, your Santa is a beautiful one :)

    • Maddy, you are my newest favorite 15 year old. You have an old soul and just from your comment, I know we would be immediate friends if we ever met. I love what you said about all of of the magic in your world will be gone. That is beauty of wisdom–the moment you realize that *you* are the one in control of all the magic your heart can contain and no one has the power to take that away. Next time you are in L.A. let’s go get some coffee :)

      • :) Thank You, I love your blog. I’ve always felt like i’ve been a bit stuck in the wrong age, u know? like I’ve already been a teenager and done that. I actually live in L.A…so, would love to grab some coffee at some point!

  5. Believing. Not be leaving. Wow, autocorrect is horrible!

    • You seem to blame your autocorrect a lot. I am beginning to worry that those 4 years you claimed were “college years” were actually full of uncollegey things. And stuff.

  6. Mom and Dad never told you because your older sister or brother probably spoiled that for ya. Boo us! But I agree…I don’t think I ever stopped truly be
    Ieaving…such a magical time! And when you see it through the eyes of your nieces, it makes it even more magical!!! I love those girls! Maybe we will make Santaflower for Santa to eat on Christmas Eve. Nah…we probably won’t because how can you eat that!? He is sooo cute!!

    • Your biggest fan! says:

      Woe Woe Woe!!! No Santa????? :-(
      I don’t think Mom and Dad EVER told you there was no Santa – Mom still believes! I blame that lie on your older siblings! Don’t forget how you saw the reindeer prints! Next thing you know, they’ll tell you there’s no Easter Bunny! Love the Santaflower – what a great idea! And, P.S. I hear that Santa is lactose intolerant – Remember the movie we saw at your first visit to BIOLA? LOVE YOU!!!

      • That movie sounds vaguely familiar. What was it???
        Thank God that at least you raised one of your children correctly (ME!) It’s a bummer the older 2 were rotten but I made up for them, without a doubt. Right Mom?? RIGHT??!!!

        • Your biggest fan! says:

          Ha! Ha! The movie was The Santa Clause. Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra.

          • Did they show it on campus? I just saw it on tv the other day. I can’t believe memories of watching it at Biola didn’t spark. Man, I really need to check my memory storage data bank in my brain…

          • Your biggest fan! says:

            Yes, they showed it on campus. There are certain movies that I know (pretty much) exactly where & when I saw them. But, my memory bank is close to being overdrawn on other things. :-)

          • Man, for an old woman you have a great memory. hahaha. Just kidding, mom. But for reals–I’m impressed by you and disappointed in myself for not remembering.

    • Man, you guys were out to ruin my childhood, weren’t you? I mean, what did I ever do to you and Scott to deserve such harsh treatment?
      Oh and hey, make a cute treat with your freaking kids, will ya??? I still cannot get over how you never did the special turkey cookies that I made just for Cami!! FIRED.

  7. OMG making this for Christmas Eve at my Dads!

    …my Mom who is left handed use to write a scribbled letter with her right hand from Santa and the Reindeer – I thought she was the only one with this secret talent :-)

    I certainly still (and will forever) hold the Spirit of Christmas in my Heart, it is nice to see that other *grown ups* still do too

  8. Santa’s NOT REAL?!!!? Commence mind explosion… But before it goes completely, it thinks, “That’s the cutest darn cheeseball I’ve ever seen!”

  9. You know, that would make a clever centerpiece for the holiday table although watching Santa being torn apart and ingested might cause the tots irreparable psychic damage. Your prose is always so beautiful. They do say that Santa and Christmas are in the heart. Maybe you should write a collection of stories?

    • You and your sadistic views of eating food in the shapes of things :) hahaha. Just close your eyes and get to eating, Laurel xo

      • I’ll DO that. Just as soon as I figure out how to replace the peppers, cauliflower and soy. Santa’d look kinda funny made only with black olives. Now you know why I bake until the test results come back. Silly me, beets, nut cheeses and olives. Yes?

  10. Very beautifully written, Cara. Simple truth and so profound. I love your blog and your tender spirit.

    I do believe, btw!! Your line: “… that is one thing that I never want to lose, regardless of its lack of logic.” reminds me so much of “We walk by faith and not by sight.”

    Have a wonderful Christmas!!

    Whoa, wait … I got the persimmons for the cookies … how do I make persimmon pulp???

    • haha. Make sure they are very ripe, first of all (they will be very soft to touch). Cut around the seed, throw the flesh into a blender, and presto! Pulp :) Good luck!
      Thank you for the comment, MJ. You are so right about it correlating to faith. To believe in things unseen.
      Have a merry Christmas also! May Santa bring you everything you want this year :)

  11. Great idea for We Can’t Say It’s Cheese! Santa’s cauliflower beard is such fun. Also, I love this sentiment! Someday when your nieces find out about Santa, they’ll learn that they should always believe in Auntie!

    • Ohmygoodness, I just fell in love with that last line. Girl, you should be a film writer :)
      P.S. I thought of you while making Santa. A might fine usage of my coupon winnings!

  12. I like you. :)

  13. Ah thats the best use for cauliflower I’ve seen in a while – so cute and edible too :)

  14. Oh sure Cara, give me another excuse to eat cauliflower. Mmm… Santaflower…

    Santa’s a great idea. A magical friend who gives you presents based on whether or not you’ve been good to the people around you in the past year? That is a great deal. All you have to do is be nice!! (Though I guess that’s harder for some people…)

    I had forgotten (really!) about leaving out cookies and getting a note…

    • When you put Santa like that, reminds me of why I had imaginary friends growing up. The magical ones are the most thoughtful…
      Santaflower. Seriously. You need to be writing all of these down. So witty! :)

  15. i love him!!

  16. I love this Cara! You’re never too old for the spirit of Santa :)… Especially when he is made of smoky cheezyness…

  17. That’s fantastic!

  18. Looks really cute!

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