I know you’re really busy reading millions of letters from children from across the world right now, so I hope you don’t mind that this letter comes from a 35-year-old father of two. See, I love the holiday season, especially now that my youngest daughter understands who you are, and why you bring presents on Christmas morning. I also love the fact I can spend two months threatening to call you with reports of bad behaviour, which is by far the best parenting tool in my arsenal. My hope is my oldest daughter, who turned seven in July, is not yet seeing the holes in my methods and plotting ways to exploit them in the future.
Anyway, it has been a very long time since I last wrote you personally. I’m not sure if an apology is necessary, but I want you and the elves to realize I don’t have any delusions about who the target audience for Christmas is – it’s about the kids. Always has been and always will be. That’s great. It really is. Few things bring me greater joy than seeing a child’s face light up when they meet you at a parade or in a mall. During my 10 years in the newspaper business, I never dreaded an assignment that involved Santa.
I do think adults should also send you their wishlists, because, though we may not want toys that fit on your sleigh, it’s nice to know you’re looking out for us too. So here is my list for this Christmas. I very much hope you can make some of my dreams come true this year.
• I hope all who are financially able will support their local food bank, Christmas toy drive and any other initiative that helps make this season more comfortable for hundreds of kids and adults in our communities. You may be surprised to find out who needs a helping hand this year.
• Can you send some elves to put up my outdoor Christmas decorations? I don’t like ladders or cold weather, so this is something unlikely to improve without an intervention.
• If you could just go ahead and put a block on all Facebook posts that say, “X number of sleeps until Christmas!” I’d be forever grateful. We all have calendars.
• Oh, a calendar.
• It would be great if you could help the Toronto Maple Leafs get to the playoffs this year and maybe even win a round. I’m not sure what your policy is on striking deals with the devil, but…
• It would also be nice if you’d give us a break and keep last year’s crazy winter weather up north. Last year was bad enough, with my retired parents spending three months in sunny Florida while we shoveled eight feet of snow a week, but Mom finally has Facebook and I’m not sure I can handle all the pool and beach pictures this winter.
• I hope people give you a break this year and do some shopping themselves, especially if they frequent locally owned businesses. The last time I checked, an outlet mall near Buffalo isn’t sponsoring one of our soccer or hockey teams.
• I know it’s cliché, but I really do wish good health and happiness for everybody. Except those who tell me to drink less beer, eat healthier foods, watch less TV and exercise more – they clearly don’t want me to be happy.
I will leave cookies out for you and carrots for the reindeer. My wife will probably eat the cookies.
Love, your pal Dwight