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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Very Lynch-Like Visit to Santa

A Very Lynch-Like Visit to Santa

Fifteen year old Diana Lynch with eight year old brothers, Larry and Terry, and five year old sisters, Lia and Tia, smiled broadly at the mid-town New York Macy’s doorman who opened wide the doors for all to pass through into the realm of Christmas.

“Enjoy!” He said and beamed back at the troupe as they entered with stars in their eyes on their annual pilgrimage to Macy’s flagship store located in Herald Square.  Each year they visited Santa Claus for picture-taking which turned into the Lynch Family Christmas card.

“To the elevator, kiddos,” Di directed them, “onward to Santa Claus.”

“I’ve got my list,” Lia said, pulling it out of her pocket of her bright red jacket and waving it in the air.  The roll of paper sort of uncurled on its own and trailed across the floor and down an aisle and around the corner of the cosmetics counter.

“Me, too,” Tia echoed her sister and withdrew a similar list.  It fit in her green-gloved hand.  “Mine’s not as long as yours.”

“No one’s is as long as Lia’s,” Terry chortled.

“You can say that again,” Larry said.

“No one’s list is as long as Lia’s,” Terry repeated.

Lia ignored her siblings and saucily led the way to the elevator.  She pressed the up button amidst the throng of shoppers and got on ahead of everyone else.  The doors started to close before Diana and their brothers and sister reached the elevator.  

“Wait, Lia,” Diana called and managed to squeeze on board, excusing them.  “Let’s stay together guys.”

Larry, Terry and Tia followed close behind and were the last ones on before the enclosed platform lurched upward.  

Diana noticed elevator music played Aerosmith’s Love in an Elevator.  How appropriate, she thought.
They disembarked on the third floor where the toys called to the younger set.  

“Potty stop, first.”  Diana herded the foursome towards the boys’ restroom.  “We’ll wait here.  Don’t be long.”

The twins disappeared yet quickly returned as though they had walked in one door and out the other without stopping inside.  Diana had no stomach for interrogating or scolding.  She followed suit for the girls and waited with the boys until Lia and Tia took an inordinate length of time.

Finally the five wended their way back to the first floor and the squirming line of kids to see the man in red. 
“I always love coming here at Christmastime, don’t you too Twinnies?” Diana said, the excitement of the holiday invading her soul.

“Me, too!” the twins all chorused together, as they were in the habit of doing whenever the notion struck them.

“Look, Di!” Lia squealed.  They all followed her pointing finger to Santa’s set where a bear wearing bib overalls and a brakeman’s cap, chopped wood.  

“How cute,” Di cooed.  “Oh, look, Lia, at the huge stocking all by itself hung on Santa’s fireplace.  All those toys on your list would fit in it!”

“Yes!”  Lia and Tia high-fived each other.  Then Lia and Larry, Tia and Terry; then Lia and Terry, Tia and Larry; then Larry and Terry.

While her brood waited impatiently to whisper in the old man’s ear, a scantily clad man approached Diana.  His baggy Bermuda-length shorts dipped below his naval and he sported an NYU emblem tattooed on his chest.  He handed her a small colorful piece of paper that made her want to throw it away before she even looked at it.    

When she opened it, it read “Are you single?”

The guy grinned moronically at her and she shook her head negatively.    

Next he took her hand and placed another corrugated yellow square envelope, which read “open me”.  

Diana felt like a character from Alice in Wonderland.  When she tore it open, out popped a three dimensional cheesecake.  Written upon it appeared the words “sex on a plate.”  What if she’d said ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ which is what she meant to say in the first place.  Again, she shook her head and the clown wandered off to pester another young lady.  

Santa’s fantasyland thrived with elves hanging decorations on evergreens sprayed with white flocking.  

Another gang of the little fellows shot streamers of stars in every color of the rainbow.  Everyone in the area, children and adults, “ohd” and “aahd” as though watching the 4th of July fireworks.  

Finally, the Lynch kids grew closer to Santa.  A photographer snapped pictures and two attendants named Jenny and Jo dressed identically in short red Santa-type suits took down information from adults with checkbooks at the ready.   As Diana drew within range of the jolly old man who she thought the best-looking Santa ever, she noticed a beautiful brown and tan pup asleep at his black booted feet.  

“What’s the puppy’s name?” she asked the twosome.

“Sherlock,” they said in unison.

“May we have our picture taken with him?”

“Sure,” said Jenny.

“We’d love you to have your picture taken with her,” said Jo.

Diana beamed at them and immediately wrote out the check.

“She’s so cute!” Di squealed.  “Twinnies will be delighted, too, to have their picture taken all together with Sherlock and Santa.”

By then the twins’ turn arrived and they crowded around Santa. 

Jo picked up Sherlock while Jenny arranged the five kids strategically around Santa Claus.  She put Lia on Santa’s left knee and Tia on his right.  Then she had Larry stand to Lia’s left and Terry to Tia’s right.  This left a spot in front of Santa where Diana knelt down and took the puppy from Jo.  The puppy with bright brown eyes looked up into Diana’s equally shining dark eyes and immediately slurped her face.  

He kissed you, Di!” Lia giggled.  

He didn’t mean to,” Tia chuckled and joined in her twin’s laughter. 

Larry and Terry found it funny too and burst into uncontrollable guffaws.   Diana continued with the widest smile she ever remembered before the photographer snapped the picture and captured the moment for what would be the best Lynch Christmas card ever.


This is an unofficial secret Santa story for Jo and Jenny and their pup Sherlock they created for Jim and Trixie.  With their permission I fondly present A Very Lynch-Like Visit to Santa, consisting of 1,009 words.

Trixie Belden® is a registered trademark of Random House Books. These pages are not affiliated with Random House Books in any way. These pages are not for profit.  

Saturday, October 6, 2012



Honey Belden cooed at six month old Bernadette as she dressed her in a red and white Santa sleeper. 

“What a cutie pie you are, baby dear.  I’m so sorry you have a code in your node.  Mommy get you some eggnog and it’ll be gone in a jiffy.  Let’s you and me go into the media room and watch Miracle on Thirty Fourth Street while Daddy is off at work.”

Honey shouldered the baby onto a burp cloth.  As she strolled from the nursery to the other room where a big screen tv blankly stared back at them she bumped against a plastic Rudolph wearing a candy cane to replace a lost antler.  Rudolph toppled over into the Santa Claus who promptly began to sing “Santa comes but once a year.”  Honey purposefully kicked both the reindeer and the Santa out of the way.  She hated these tacky decorations more than she loved her baby girl and promised herself to send Rudolph and Santa back to the North Pole soon.

Honey set Bernadette into her swing set, turned it on so the motion would settle down the baby’s fussiness.  Honey, then, settled back into the comfy, overstuffed chair, putting her feet up on the matching ottoman.  She loved this chair upholstered in taupe chenille and the beige and taupe throw that she snuggled into for warmth.  The home theater housed the Compact Disc player that sweetly played Take Me Out to the Ball Game. 

What in the world?  Honey thought as she thrashed around for the remote to turn it off in favor of the movie.
She eyed the remote on a small oak stand on the other side of the room next to the Christmas tree.  Honey hated having to get up to retrieve the control but she reluctantly shed the throw and arose from her comfortable nest.  In a corner of the room of dark mahogany wood stood a beautiful Douglas Fir tree trimmed in original elementary as she and Brian termed the style of decoration.  While each room in the huge house hosted a Christmas tree decorated in a theme, the tree in this room wore ornaments that both Honey and Brian had each made in elementary school.  They laughed the entire time they had decorated the tree, chortling over whose invention sported the homeliest design.  Brian held Bernadette and Honey placed each bauble on the baby’s tiny fingers before Brian slid it off onto the most perfectly perfect branch on the fir.  The family enjoyed decorating this tree more than anything else so far that season.  

Honey noticed Bernadette beginning to nod off in her swing set and smiled to herself as she immersed herself back into her own cozy nest.  The room smelled so good, too.  A pumpkin scented candle flickered in the upstairs window and cast a gentle shadow on the wainscoted wall.  

Pushing the appropriate button Honey tuned into the movie she and Bernadette decided to watch.  The warmth of the room together with the endearing aroma of the spicy candle lulled them into their afternoon nap.

Soon the house phone went ‘choo-choo’ because it happened to be a train and Brian loved the authenticity of the sound.  Honey heard it through her dreams and chose not to answer.   Let the answering machine pick up any message the caller chose to leave.  Her eyes opened to the monkey call Santa encouraged a young Natalie Wood to imitate.  Then Honey’s eyes drooped back into slumber land.  

Next the front door bell pealed a Joy to the World chord Brian had programmed for the holiday season.  Again, Honey chose to remain nestled and hoped Bernadette would not awaken either.  This time when she peeked through one slit eye she found a stack of mail on the judge’s bench hiding him from view of the courtroom.   Through the other half-opened eye Bernadette stayed sleeping, too, appearing as content as Honey felt.

Far away yet only in the downstairs entryway, the grandfather clock chimed the hour and Honey counted them in her reverie – one, two, three, four.  Hmmm, she hummed to herself.  Seemed like she needed to do something at four o-clock.  Change Bernadette?  Feed her?  Bathe her?  Brian would be home soon.  Make dinner?

They decided when they set up housekeeping that they would hire no help but do all the chores themselves.  Honey did hire a cleaning crew to come in every two weeks but yesterday, Monday, they had scrubbed the house from top to bottom.  While Honey had no one to cook she thoroughly enjoyed her time off from the Frayne/Belden Detective Agency and devoted some time to meal planning and cooking those meals.

Honey yawned and stretched, luxuriating in the splendor of an afternoon spent doing absolutely nothing.  Not a thing but being with Bernadette and doing just what the two of them wanted to do.  This is heaven, Honey whispered to the baby.  Bernadette also yawned and pushed her baby fist upward, too, causing Honey to smile.  

In the back of her mind she knew what dinner would be – homemade soup she had made over the weekend.  The delicious soup, meant to be served with taco chips on top, wouldn’t take long to heat up.  She would change Bernadette, take her downstairs and together they would have dinner ready for Brian as soon as he came through the door at 6 p.m.  

The credits from the movie scrolled and Honey turned off the screen.  

“Hi Baby,” Honey sung to her daughter.  “Ready to get up?”  

Bernadette gave her mommy a toothy grin.  Honey’s heart melted.  

“Upsy, daisy, baby.”  Honey picked her up and took her to the nursery to change her poopy diaper.

“Good girl,” Honey said and wrapped Cinderella into the container designed for easy disposal.

“And away we go, Baby Bernie.”  Bernadette’s mommy scooped her up and together they went downstairs and into the cheery kitchen.  Into her highchair Honey placed the child.  She took all the ingredients out of the fridge and began getting dinner ready.

“Honey, I’m home,” crowed Brian a moment later.   Upon entering the aromatic room, he swung Honey around in a bear hug and lifted Bernadette from her seat and repeated the dance with his baby daughter. 

“We’re so glad you’re home, Daddy.” Honey joined her husband and daughter and she and Brian’s lips met in a three way kiss on Bernadette’s sweet mouth.