Between the Rows: Dear Santa...

Published online: Dec 21, 2021 Articles, Between the Rows Tyrell Marchant, Editor
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This column appears in the December 2019 issue of Potato Grower.

Dear Santa,

Can you please bring me a motorcycle helmet? Black with green and purple flames on it, and maybe chrome spikes coming out the top. My favorite thing to do is to go out on the four-wheeler to check pivots, but Mom doesn’t think I’m old enough to do it by myself. I’m 8! Maybe if I had a helmet, Mom wouldn’t be so worried, and I could help out more on the farm. Dad says he can’t find good workers anymore, but I would be the best worker in the history of the world.


       Mason in Toppenish


Dear Mason,

I will get some of my best elves on the job right away, but I’ll have to consult with your parents about the spikes. Your mom knows what’s best, so, helmet or no helmet, you should probably listen to her.

       Merry Christmas,

       Santa Claus

Dear Santa,

I can’t believe I’m writing a letter to freaking Santa Claus. But if my parents won’t listen to me, this represents my last hope at seeing reason prevail.

The car I drive to school is—wait for it—a 1993 Ford F-250. The paint is almost completely peeled off the hood. Not that the paint was anything special; it’s two-tone brown-on-brown. A two-tone paint job is bad enough, but two shades of brown is unforgivable. No matter how many times I vacuum out the inside, it still smells like farm dirt and hay leaves. It’s embarrassing.

I need something cute or sporty and, most of all, clean.


       Carrie in Hazelton

Dear Carrie,

Alas, North Pole Motors is fresh out of Kias and Corvettes.

As someone who has been delivering gifts all over the world for centuries (in a sleigh, no less), trust me: High-schoolers are absolutely terrible judges of what’s cool. Don’t worry what they think.

To cutesy up your piece of American toughness and ingenuity, you will find in your stocking a custom-made seat cover festooned with pink and yellow plumeria and hibiscus flowers, along with a year’s supply of the finest island-inspired air fresheners we manufacture.  

       Merry Christmas,

       The One & Only, Very Real Kris Kringle

Dear Santa,

I know you’re not real; you can’t be. But you know that little spark of childhood faith that just sticks in your heart and brain, no matter how frustrating or scary the world may get? I’m grasping at that right now.

When Dan’s parents called us a year and a half ago about moving back home and helping run the farm full-time, you should have seen the smile on my sweet husband’s face. It’s always been his big dream to come back, and this was his chance. When the plan was laid out for Dan’s role in the business, it made a lot of sense. Dan and I talked and prayed a lot about it, and now here we are, raising our kids in the house he grew up in. It was perfect.

Then winter took forever to end. And the fields never really dried out. And then, just after we started harvest, the rain and snow came back. Harvest is supposed to be this triumphant time of year, but as we slogged through the fall, with spuds and grain stuck out in the fields, I watched my Dan’s proud shoulders slump and his eyes grow somehow panicked and dull at the same time. He’s been putting on a brave face for me and the kids, but I’m worried he might never recover from this. Forget Dan having a job on the farm—the farm might not exist in a year, and Dan keeps blaming himself for everything that’s gone wrong.

I don’t know if anything can be done, but I know if anyone can somehow fix this for Dan, it’s Santa Claus. Please, Santa.


       Caitlyn in Twin Valley


Dear Caitlyn,

I’m reminded of that first Christmas. The story is filled with salt-of-the-earth people who, like yourself, were scared and frustrated. An unexpectedly expectant mother. A husband desperate to find a roof and bed for her. Shepherds, terrified at being approached by a thunder-voiced being from the sky. Devout kings, far from home, recruited by another, much more malevolent monarch to do his dirty work.

But because of the grace of Him whose birth we celebrate, they were all okay. And, even though I can’t do much to help right now, you will be too. Even Santa Claus has his limits, but the King of Kings doesn’t.

       God bless you,

       Saint Nicholas

P.S. Crack open your Bible to John 14. Verse 27 is one of my favorites.

Dear Santa,

I’ve been pretty blessed, what with being able to work this piece of ground my whole life. From my granddad down to my grandkids, I’ve watched five generations work on and love this farm, and I couldn’t dream of a better life.

There is one thing, though: Charlie’s Diner closed up shop a couple years back, and I’ve missed his biscuits and gravy something fierce. Any way I could get the recipe?

       —Jeff in Monte Vista


Dear Jeff,

Charlie’s biscuits were from a can. Pillsbury.

       You’re welcome,

       Santa Claus