I was at my daughter’s house two weeks ago and faced my first snow storm in years. To occupy the girls on a no school day, their mother decided to start decorating the house for Christmas. Full of energy and enthusiasm the little girls brought up from the basements the many boxes where reeds, trees, stockings and other ornaments have been stowed after the previous season.

Suddenly we saw the nine year old grab a box and stare at the red elf inside it. The smile on her face disappeared to be replaced by a scowl. My daughter grumbled. “Oh, oh.” 

“Mom, what is the naughty elf doing here?” Her wrists clenched on her hips, my granddaughter darted accusing glares at her mom. My gaze flitting from mother to daughter, I tried to understand the problem. “Mom, you and Dad lied to us.”

“Oh God.” Obviously my poor daughter felt terrible.

“This elf is the one who goes to Santa Claus at night to report that we have been good or bad,” the seven year old explained with a pout. “We leave cookies for him and carrots for his reindeer.”

“At least we thought he was going to Santa.” The nine year old pursed her lips and pointed a finger at her Mom. “I bet Daddy has been eating the cookies and you the carrots. Right, Mom?”

Poor Mom nodded. “Let me explain.” 

“No.” The nine year old ran to her room and banged the door behind her. We all followed.

“Darling,” I said to my granddaughter. “You two are very lucky girls. You have a Mom and Dad who love you very much and spoil you rotten. Many children don’t have so many toys. I never had toys like while growing up. Just a ball once and my sister a doll. Dad gave us books only and no one else gave us anything.” 

“Really? No toys only books?” Both girls looked at me with pity.

I am a writer who always feels the need to elaborate. Why couldn’t I have stopped here?

“Well you see, Christmas is about the birth of Baby Jesus. All the rest is a legend. A nice story like Cinderella, or the Little Mermaid, or Santa Claus. They are nice stories, but they don’t exist, of course.”

“What?” The seven year old screamed. Santa Claus doesn’t exist? No way.” It was her turn to run to her room and bang her door.

“Oh God, I messed it up.”

“Yes, Mom. You killed Santa Claus.”

It took me half an hour to try to reconcile Christmas, Santa Claus and loving Mom and Dad. I also assured my darling little one that grandma adored her and that all she wrote in her letter to Santa Claus will be fulfilled by grandma and grandpa.

“So now we are big kids,” my seven year old said. “But I am not going to tell Kelsey and Heather the truth about Santa Claus and the naughty Elf. They are two months younger than me.”

Do your little ones still believe in Santa Claus? 

CHRISTMAS HERE AND THERE, with romance  everywhere: beach, cruise, or faraway. 3 novels, for 99c, http://tinyurl.com/lhxkfha


 HER CHRISTMAS CRUISE: The perfect fiancĂ© is a cheater and the fabulous Christmas wedding is off. When a desperate Julia comes in Tony's mother's travel agency, the dedicated psychiatrist is there to pick up the pieces. Sparks fly between them and Tony is willing to put his life on hold for Julia. Nothing goes according to plan, but the would-be honeymoon cruise may fulfill their secret dreams.  

AN UNUSUAL CHRISTMAS: Dr. Jillian is always running away to the end of the world to avoid Christmas celebrations and the sad reminders of her dead son. But in Belarus, a baby girl, four little boys, and a handsome doctor will teach her the true meaning of Christmas.

CHRISTMAS BABIES: When a health problem jolts Dr. Madelyn into the realization than there's more to life than just work, she longs to surrender to the magic of Christmas. But can she handle the charming and secretive Dr. Nick Preston who carries his own package of disillusions? 


  1. debjulienne // December 31, 2013 at 12:16 PM  

    Oh Mona, I feel your pain, but a sweet story. As for your stories, they are some of my favorites because of the emotional involvment and love...always touching my heart.

  2. Mona Risk // December 31, 2013 at 1:02 PM  

    Thanks Deb, so glad you enjoy my books. Happy New Year.

  3. Anonymous // January 1, 2014 at 2:47 AM  

    I just bought your Christmas set and tweeted and posted to FB! I can't wait to read them.

    MJ Flournoy

  4. Mary Marvella // January 1, 2014 at 10:16 PM  

    Loved the the Santa and his elf story. My daughter questioned me when she was around 8, asking if her daddy was Santa. When I asked if she thought he would have/take time to do the shopping, she said no. So we got by for another year. It didn't occur to her that I did all the Santa!