birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Party PJs

Every year, my parents hosted a Christmas Eve party for dozens of people. Relatives, neighbors, friends, coworkers, anyone was welcome. There was always food and wine and music late into the night. But, right around our usual bedtime, someone would report hearing sleighbells, and strange noises on the roof. Everyone tromped outside to the front lawn to investigate.

Scattered across the roof we'd find brand new pajamas for every kid at the party. Santa, knowing we needed to get to sleep, dropped them on his way to the houses where everyone was already tucked in bed.

My dad pulled them down with the long-handled avocado picker as one of us held the heavy flashlight, and my mom made sure everyone got the ones intended for them. And then, we were all sent to brush our teeth and change into our new PJs.

Pajamas came until my youngest cousin started high school. There was a long stretch of quiet Christmases with more subdued festivities, many years with no pajamas on the roof. And then, an old friend of my husbands, unable to be with his own families for the holidays, brought his wife two young boys to my parents' house for Christmas Eve. Of course, Santa knew to bring them brand new Christmas Pajamas.

Easter Eggs

Norman Rockwell with booze added