Rejection Letters from Santa: Chippewa Valley Edition

what the big jolly guy REALLY thinks about ice cream shops, downtown murals, and those nasty gnomes

Eric Rasmussen

Dear Santa,

I’ve always had a dream of starting a local business, and as I thought about modern values of ecology and the necessity of knowing the sources of our food, plus our heritage in the state of Wisconsin, I came up with a great idea: a shop where you can churn your own butter. We’ll have cow milk, and sheep, and goat, and customers can choose their own add-ins. Garlic! Cinnamon sugar! Crushed-up Captain Crunch! It’ll be amazing.

What I need from you is a space for our shop. Can you bring me a lease for one of the vacant local storefronts? Thanks Santa!

A Local Entrepreneurial Dairy Enthusiast


Dear LEDE,

Just to double check … are you sure that’s a good idea? Churning butter is a lot of work. One year we tried to increase the return on investment in the reindeer by making reindeer cheese. It was pretty … gamey?

But I suppose, people are eating all sorts of gross stuff in the name of foodie culture. How would you feel about Star Plaza, in the old Tropic Waters pet store location? It still smells a little like parakeet in there. That might create some special flavor profiles.

Merry Christmas,

Father Christmas,

I hear now is the time to get into the business game, and I have just the idea! Is anyone around town selling ice cream? I feel like people really like ice cream, and there just isn’t anywhere where you can walk in and get a cone. I’m thinking of all the flavors: vanilla and chocolate, of course, but some fun ones, too. Rum raisin. Rocky Road. And for special occasions, sherbet.

What do you think, Santa? Could the Chippewa Valley support a shop that only sells ice cream?

Jimmy Two-Scoop


Dear Jimmy,

I think you might be onto something. After consulting a map, there are like, FIVE spots in the Chippewa Valley that aren’t within sight distance of an ice cream shop. And we call ourselves a modern city. Shameful.

I’ll load the sleigh up with as much cookie dough and fudge ripple as it will hold. The ice cream era in western Wisconsin dawns today!


Dear Saint Nick,

The COVID recovery has inspired me, Santa. I want to open my own shop. And there’s really only one thing I’m passionate about. Gnomes! Plush gnomes, resin gnomes, concrete gnomes … if it’s short with a fuzzy beard and a hat covering its eyes, I’m smitten. For a few years I dabbled in trolls, and fairies of course, and there was an unfortunate period where I drifted into gremlins, but it’s always been gnomes. Gnomes, gnomes, gnomes.

I even came up with a name: The Gneaumery. Get it? It has “eau” in the name, like Eau Claire! What I need from you is a space. Do you have real estate connections around town?

Thanks Santa,
The Chippewa Valley’s #1 Gnome Fan


Dear CV#1GF,

I’m going to try really hard to dig deep and be patient here, because it’s 2021, and American society is working hard to become more inclusive. But the problem is … I HATE gnomes. Have you ever spent time with one? They’re so smug and so infuriating. Where do you think they came up with their beard idea? They couldn’t possibly be copying everyone’s favorite jolly old elf, right?

Well, they are. And their pointy hats aren’t original either.

I think the only place for a gnome shop is in the old Shopko Plaza, where no one ever goes. I mean, where you’ll be able to take advantage of tons of foot traffic. I’ll see if I can get you set up there.

The Original Bearded Fantasy Creature


What the heck, Santa? After being told our entire lives that we can’t draw on the walls, now they’re HIRING people to come to town and paint giant pictures on buildings around town? How do you think that makes us feel? Aiden and Gracie could TOTALLY get their crayons out and create an AMAZING Paw Patrol mural. And you should see what Amelia is doing these days with a Sharpie. She’s transforming the idea of squiggly lines.

We wanna draw too, Santa!

Chippewa Valley Three-Year-Olds


Dear Three-Year-Olds,

Kids, Santa LOVES all your artwork. It’s all so good. I hang up every picture you send me! I mean, they’re not up at the moment, because we’re repainting. OK, honestly, we took everything down to start making plans for repainting. But, truly, all your drawings are in a folder somewhere. They’re in the safe, actually, which is why I can’t show you right now. Mrs. Claus has the key. And she’s running errands.

Did you know they make colored Sharpies? I’ll bring you some of those. That will make your downtown mural shine.