Visiting Santa with My Sister

Christmas Morning, 1988
by Kristina England

Like a fashionista gone off her rocker, my grandmother does it again. She buys us matching dresses. My sister, sixteen months older, is skinny as a rail. I still have my “baby fat” at seven.

Each year, my grandmother buys a purple dress and a green one. My sister picks first and, though we both love purple, she wins on age alone. I trudge to my room, green rug, green walls, place the dress on my green bedspread. My parents assume I like green.

I walk back to the living room, where my grandmother is digging through chocolates. She bites into each, spits out the ones she doesn’t like with a “Pah.” Always hungry, I eye the oozing remains. She wipes her mouth. “I have one more present,” she says, handing us coin banks.

I run back to my room, place it next to three other banks — a silver train, Mickey Mouse, and my favorite, Cabbage Patch Kid.

I find my sister in the hall. She is trudging, too. We return to my grandmother, give her a kiss on each cheek. We tell her we love her gifts. We learn how to lie at a very young age.

PHOTO: The author (left) and her sister visiting Santa in the 1980s.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This is one of many memories I’ve conjured up after my grandmother’s passing last winter. She was a quirky woman and this prose piece is just a glimpse of that quirkiness.

Kristina England1 2015

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kristina England lives, bikes, and sails in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have been published in several magazines, including Gargoyle, Moon Pigeon Press, Tipton Poetry Journal, and Yellow Mama. She is a regular contributor to the flash fiction magazine, Story Shack in Germany. Her first chapbook of flash fiction, Stanley Stanley’s Investigative Services, was published in September 2014 by Poet’s Haven Press in Ohio.