by Marie Anderson from the December 19, 2011 issue
Tagline: Even Santa was surprised by Ed's grandson's unusual--and unusually sweet--Christmas wish...
In a Nutshell: Ed promised his daughter that he'd find out what his grandson, Willy, wants for Christmas. When the kid won't tell, he asks Santa what the boy wished for when he sat on his lap. Santa arranges a meeting after work and it turns out he's a she. Willy wants his widowed grandfather to find a new grandma, so guess who goes out for coffee?
Observations: I was with this story until almost the very end. I was ready for a matchmaker story in which the grandson or the daughter planned something crafty. But then I found out Santa was a woman. I've talked before about telling "one big lie" in a Woman's World story, after which you have to be as realistic as possible, perhaps to keep things balanced. And often in a WW story, the lie is a coincidence. However, in this tale, we are expected to believe that a woman is posing as Santa.
Hmm. Nope. Not buying it. Kids are sharp. I think they'd notice Santa's femininity, even under the costume and beard. Santa may be fat, but I doubt he has man boobs that big.
However, I'll give my usual disclaimer. Obviously, the editors thought the story was just fine--fine enough to publish.
I will add that I really liked the ending where she's named Merry (Meredith). Perhaps it's because of the season, but I didn't find that corny at all.