“So I've started wearing sweatpants to bed because I really don't need Santa seeing me in my underwear.”
― Jeff Kinney
I know we haven't been terribly close since my entire third-grade class launched an attack on you. I mean, I didn't really believe the lies they were spewing but I figured my all-out adoration of you might best be cloaked under a fine veil of pre-teen scorn.
Your presence in shopping malls and holiday parades always made me shiver a little and I often fought the urge to come and sit on your lap and breathe in your cookies-and-hot-chocolate scent. But I refrained. I'm sorry. I realize we lost a lot of years.
And I know you were probably disappointed when my kids were slightly terrified of you. But, come on, Santa, you might want to get with the times and take that full beard down a notch or two. Kids these days aren't accustomed to voluminous fluffy white facial hair.
But here's the thing, Santa: I need you to show up. This year, I am ready for you to show up. And, like Mariah, I have a grown-up Christmas list that needs your attention. Forget the smushy, oogie, lovey dovey stuff. I have some real requests.
- Sprinkle some magic fairy dust to keep people from lying to each other. I know, I know. Honesty can hurt. But you know what hurts more? Deception and the eradication of trust. That hurts people way more than honesty ever could. And I'm not talking about cruel honesty...there's no need to tell Aunt Ethel that her butt is bigger than the side of a barn. But we shouldn't just lie because it's more convenient for us, should we?
- Help people understand that tolerance is a two-way street. People have beliefs. My neighbor may have a different belief than I have. But my neighbor has EVERY RIGHT to believe what he believes. I may think he's wrong. He may think I'm wrong. But you know what? I support his right to state his beliefs. And I have to respect our differences.
- Get rid of child abuse. Santa, I don't need diamonds. I don't need more stuff. What I need is for adults to stop hurting kids. Period. It's not hard, Santa. You know what? Sometimes I get REALLY MAD at my kids. I do. But I don't call them names. I don't hit them. Can you make that happen, Santa? 'Cause I really, really want that for Christmas. I've been good (mostly).
- Pull some money out of that sack, Santa, and give it to people who need it. Some people can't pay their power bill. It's Christmas, Santa. Turn on their lights. Some people need food. Let's get them to the grocery store. Inspire people to give to others.
- Make people laugh. You're a fat, jolly old elf, Santa. If people can't laugh with you, then there is little to no hope. Laughter heals. Laughter helps. And, quite honestly, sometimes it's all you can do.
But I have to believe that one day...that, maybe, one Christmas...there won't be trinkets under my tree.
I have hope.
P.S. Thanks for that bicycle when I was six. The one with the basket and the horn? That was pretty awesome.
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