Dear Santa, I can explain…

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Oh, Santa. I know what you’re thinking. By this time, you must have at least glanced at that old Naughty and Nice list. And if you go strictly by what you find on there, it might seem like you won’t be visiting my place this year…or the next…or (gulp!) even the year after that.

But things aren’t exactly as bad as they look! Really! I have a reason for every “incident” that happened this year. Admittedly, they’re not all good reasons—but they’re reasons, and that’s a start!

Like when I kind of forgot to remain in my regulation uniform while at work. It might seem like I was just clowning around, but I was using that red rubber nose and curly rainbow wig to explain the difference between “circus-sized” and “circumcised”—unorthodox, perhaps, but we haven’t had that error in our charts since! Do I truly deserve coal in my stocking when I was just trying to be an educator?

There was that time when I “embarrassed” our local Very Important Person. But Santa, you gotta believe me: This was a complete misunderstanding. This gentleman had come to the unit, requesting information that I’m not allowed to give to just anyone. When I tried to explain this to him, he asked me, quite loudly, “Do you know who I am?” Taking him by the hand, leading him through the waiting room, proclaiming, “This gentleman doesn’t know who he is—do any of you? We need to discover his identity STAT!” was simply the most efficient, effective nursing intervention available at the time. He quickly became reoriented as to his personal identity, and I’d have to say that earns me at least a candy cane!

At first glance, I can see how wrapping a patient’s television in Saran Wrap might seem like bizarre behavior. But truly, I was conserving hospital resources while ensuring patient satisfaction. A patient had expressed an extreme fear of contagion and requested that total isolation precautions be used. When I’d asked what he was afraid of, he shared that he’d seen sick people on the news! You can see, Santa, how this all came together, can’t you?

I have to admit to upsetting Dr. Tense—but that was an honest mistake, Santa! When he asked, “How about some black coffee?” I thought he was offering! Apparently, telling him, “Yeah, I’ll take one!” wasn’t the right thing to do. He hasn’t asked since, though, so I guess I already got one gift this holiday season. Thanks, Big Guy!

Finally, about those “missing” cookies from the nurse’s station…oh, who am I kidding? They were delicious and someone (I think it was Dr. Tense!) had swiped my lunch. I’m sure you understand, Santa—from what I hear, you’re a big fan of cookies yourself.

I promise I’ll do better next year. Especially if you bring me what I asked for: Six months of paid vacation time in a luxurious resort is exactly what I need to be the very best nurse I can be—and that’ll make everyone’s holiday happy!

Merry Christmas!

Candace Kayne, RN

The Journal of Nursing Jocularity’s quarterly publication for nurses (Spring 1991—Spring 1998) was written, edited, illustrated and published by nurses and health professionals. Filled with satire, true stories, cartoons and all-around funny stuff related to nursing and healthcare, it established its place in nursing history as the only humor magazine for nurses. You can now find the JNJ online at

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