Dear Santa's Village Santa,

There are so many layers to this apology that I honestly don't know where to start. I never thought I'd find myself in this position before. Not ever in my life. In fact, if you told me when I was just a little, wide-eyed, Christmas-Magic-Loving-nugget that I'd be writing this letter ever in my life, I'd call you a scrooge and toss a lump of coal at you.

But here we are.

I guess the first layer of this apology has to start with being sorry it took so long to write this to you in the first place. It's been a few weeks, which I guess is better than a few months or few years, but you still deserved better from me, so I'm truly sorry. I guess the best place to start is the beginning.

See, I was up in the New Hampshire mountains a few weekends ago because my cousin Adam was getting married to his long-time girlfriend. It was a whole weekend event, with the wedding taking place in Jefferson at the Bellevue Barn at Carlisle Place. A lot of us stayed at a hotel in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, though, which, as you know because you're a world traveler, is about 30 minutes away.

The good thing is on the day of the wedding, we had a school bus that was transporting us from the multiple hotels in the area near the venue, to the actual venue, and back again. Which meant that nobody had to worry about driving anywhere, especially after celebrating a marriage. And, when that happens, generally people will take part in some extra..."Christmas Cheer," as I'm sure you'd put it. And that's a bit of what happened before I hopped on the bus.

The bus ride itself was fine to start. Everyone was in good spirits, no one was obnoxious -- just a lot of banter amongst old friends, new friends, and family members. And then, that's when it happened. That's when I put the integrity of the entire day on the line as we approached Santa's Village. I looked up from the conversation I was in, spotted your Village, Santa, down the road, had a quick flashback of my entire fantastically fun childhood growing up in the Granite State, and out the open school bus window, that's when I yelled it. The phrase I'll never be able to take back. The phrase that has haunted me since the second it came out of my mouth at you.

"SCRAM, YOU OLD GOAT!"

I don't know what came over me, except the clear lack of judgment from a little extra Christmas Cheer. The only thing I can say is in all of those flashbacks to traveling to all of the amazing attractions in the mountains as a kid -- Carroll's Motels and Cottages, the Hobo Railroad, Six Gun City, etc -- I somehow mixed up your Village, Santa...YOUR ICONIC VILLAGE...with Clark's Trading Post and that evil, putrid Wolfman.

And for that, I'm truly, honestly, from the core depths of my clearly damaged heart, infinitely and forever sorry. You didn't deserve that and you deserved so, so much better out of me. I know I can't take it back, but the only thing I can do is promise that it'll never, EVER happen again, and I've been working on myself ever since. I'm sorry, I love you in every way appropriate to love you, Santa's Village Santa.

With eternal apologies,

Jadd

P.S. If it's any consolation, the entire bus, all in unison, screamed, "THAT'S THE WRONG PLACE, YOU IDIOT!"' the moment I finished the final syllable in the word, "goat."

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