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I think I was about 15 years old. I just found the list today, tucked in a stack of old correspondence my mom gave back to me years ago.

Dear Santa Letter

My letter to Santa, 1975.

Oh dear, I was so demanding back then! At least I had the good conscience to end the letter giving Mr and Mrs Santa permission to just skip the list. But me oh my, how expensive my requests were! A large concert xylophone? Seriously?

I actually did get three things on the list, which Mr and Mrs Santa efficiently checked off. They didn’t have much money but did their best to make a good life for their kids. Out of all the requests on my Santa’s list, over thirty years later I still cherish the Japanese parasol to this day.

The waxed paper Japanese Parasol I got for Christmas, 1975.

The waxed paper Japanese Parasol I got for Christmas, 1975.

2 Japanese Parasol

It was a used parasol, the read deal, and it came without a handle. I loved imagining where it might have come from and what gentle lady used it as she walked in her gardens.

3 Japanese Parasol

4 Japanese Parasol

5 Japanese Parasol

6 Japanese Parasol

7 Japanese Parasol

Japanese waxed paper parasol – a majestic four feet two inches in diameter and heavy.

8 Japanese Parasol

9 Japanese Parasol

10 Japanese Parasol

Mr and Mrs Santa chose well that year. They could see past my impulsiveness, past my selfishness, all the way to the creative and adventurous girl that I was, even before I knew it. I’m still impressed that they found a parasol, which certainly wasn’t something plucked from a department store rack. It’s heart-warming that Santas all over the world know the hearts of their kids.

And Ma, Thank you. The Japanese parasol is my most favorite Christmas present I have ever received. Love you!