In the Woods

It’s Christmas Eve. I’m outside in the woods with a flashlight, covered with red cellophane. Rudolph has landed behind our house. Santa is in the neighborhood.

My wife and my daughter are at the slider door, watching as I slowly move around, turn my head, and bend toward the ground as if to nibble on something tasty.

I move a little quickly, raising the flashlight higher and higher over my head in mock takeoff. It’s time for Rudolph, the reindeer, and Santa to move on.

And it’s time for me to go back inside to hear about what I missed.


By Ed Dzitko

Imagine, every December, the pain the holiday season brings.

In the windows of 20 houses, 20 where kids lived, a single candle burns. It’s been eight years, but the hurt remains. Moms and Dads are older, aged twice that, at least, and siblings are grown, but their grief has not subsided.

Their pain is as fresh as the newly-cut trees they decorate with bright and shiny orbs, strings of garland, popcorn and berries, and flashing lights.

Will Christmas ever be the same for any of them? Unlikely. There’s nothing worse than an innocent child, in school, shot by a psycho.

The Letter

By Ed Dzitko

It was on page 11 of the News-Tribune in the “Letters to Santa” section. Timmy now understood why his schoolmates were asking about the Vikings pajamas he had asked for for Christmas.

“I dropped that in the mailbox,” he said to nobody. “I addressed it to the North Pole. How’d it get into the newspaper?”

He sat a few of minutes, thinking, and using deduction skills he learned in the Hardy Boys adventures. He grabbed paper and pen.

Dear Santa,

Sorry to tell you this. There’s a leak at the North Pole.

Be careful with all those letters.



Do You Still Believe?

By Ed Dzitko

Fourth-grade Bobby stared hard at the question on the board.

“Do you still believe in Santa Claus?” The question went along with a story in the class reading book. His group hadn’t been in the teacher’s circle yet.

What does that mean, Bobby wondered. Aren’t I supposed to still believe? I’m supposed to be stopping? Why would I? Do I not know something everybody else does?

Bobby tapped Kim on the shoulder. He pointed to the question, smiled, and said, “Yes!” Kim didn’t smile back. She just turned away.

“Group 4,” teacher called.

Bobby sighed. Time to face the truth.

No Kiss Tonight

By Ed Dzitko 

“She’s there, near the mistletoe,” Billy said. “Wow.”

“So… go over there,” said Al. 

“I can’t. Nobody takes mistletoe seriously. I’ve never seen a single mistletoe kiss.”

“So what? Billy, now’s your chance.”

“I don’t know. What if she walks away, Al, doesn’t step closer? People’ll see. I’ll be embarrassed the rest of the night.”

“Just go. Put an arm around her and lead her a step forward. Then give her a peck.”

“I don’t know,” said Billy, anxious now, sweat forming on his brow.

‘Bill, just go. Now.”

“Whew. I’ll go. Right out the front door. See ya, Al.”

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