My List to Santa

Dear Santa,

I realize you receive millions of letters this time of year and your inbox is quite full. Hopefully, mine will stand out though, given I am not your typical customer. I am a grown woman. And, I am sure you will overlook the fact I am Jewish since you have a reputation of being benevolent and jolly. You see, Santa, I grew up in San Diego, CA and that has permanently thinned my blood rendering me unable to tolerate cold weather.
That is why I am writing. I am begging you to bring me just one gift: the ability to endure cold weather so I can enjoy winter.

Growing up I was never exposed to the cold. Ironically, every place I have lived since high school has a significant winter. I lived in Providence (grey and dreary), Chicago (cold and windy), Baltimore (more grey and dreary) and now Boulder (mostly sunny with cold and snow). Over the years I have amassed lots of gear. I own numerous pairs of gloves, hats and scarves lovingly knitted by my mother, fuzzy socks, warm shoes and 8 jackets, one for each drop in 10 degrees starting at 80. All of this just to walk from the car to work or the grocery store or the gym. Can you believe my grandmother still asks if I have enough warm clothes? I have enough clothes I tell her; they just don’t keep me warm.

The problem started early, Santa. My swim coaches shunned winter sports as too dangerous; skiing was evil and anyone that partook was ridiculed. This lack of exposure at a young age never gave me a chance. Now, to run or ride outside during winter (let’s be honest, even a chilly fall, spring or summer day will make me shiver) I must bundle up in many layers making me look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I shove hand warmers in my already thick gloves and toe warmers between my shoes and shoe covers. Within a short time I still have purple hands and feet that become incredibly prickly until they just go numb (frostbite is just folklore, it doesn’t really happen, does it?).

Santa, my friends participate in winter activities and I want to go with them. I look at the slopes from afar and they are breathtaking. Skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing apparently provide not only enjoyment but excellent exercise. In my very limited experiences with alpine adventures I could only think about the heated lodge and hot coffee.

My mother refuses to hear my winter complaints. She invites me back to San Diego and reminds me that nobody forced me to live in the cold. In fact, my parents settled in San Diego after fleeing the East Coast and my sister left New Jersey for LA 30 seconds after she graduated college. Boulder is home though, and I love it here, despite the cold. So, Santa, if you place this gift under my Menorah, I will be forever grateful.

Happy holidays,
Joanna

P.S. It is snowing and cold today, so if you want to come early I do accept gifts in advance.

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