The Shortlings wrote out, and added to, their Letters to Santa/Wish List Of Things They'd Like For Christmas throughout the entire month of December.  They started with a modest list of one or two things and then every time they saw a commercial on television, they immediately ran to the kitchen table to add that item to their list.  My intention was to take a photo of these lists, but then I realized that they read like an airline pilot's protocol handbook (Aside: how much do you want to read a book titled Cockpit Confidential? Because I know I do.) and are so detailed and lengthy, a photograph wouldn't communicate it properly.

As such, these lists weren't exactly representative of things they really wanted, but rather a documentation of their streams of consciousness throughout the holiday season.  If Santa wanted to learn anything about their true desires, he would have had to sift through their lists and extrapolate from things they actually talked about for more than five minutes to figure out which items were things that they really wanted vs. things that Big Advertising had downloaded directly into their brains.

I looked at The Caterpillar's list multiple times before I realized, toward the end of the month, that she'd helpfully divided her list into three sections: "Toys," "Pets," and "Other."  

The Toys section had the obvious things; I won't bother you with that one.

The Other section contained items that are totallynottoys, like Heelys, Tinkerbell's Pixie Camper, Cool Baker, something that says "Bots with Tall Heels" which I have yet to figure out, a bell from Santa's sleigh, and A Rainbow.

A few days later, I realized that under Pets, she had written, "A Girl Green Anole" which might be a bad idea since The Dormouse already has a boy, "A Hamster" and "Pink Furbee."

Santa brought her a pet of the non-living variety in the form of an electronic pet that won't ever shut up, but when I got up this morning and found her pulling cotton balls out of the bag, naming them, and making leashes for each one, I wondered if we should have maybe paid more attention to her live pet requests.