This is the first letter I’ve ever sent you. It feels strange since I am long past the accepted age for writing Santa letters. I’ve been moderately good this year. At my age, I don’t have many opportunities for juicy misbehavior.
What do I want for Christmas? I don’t really need anything for myself but I have a long list of requests for friends and relatives. I would dearly love a job for one friend. I ask for good health for numerous friends. I’d also like some serenity for all who have found this past year unsettling.
My biggest request is for my grandniece’s family; they were left homeless by the Santa Rosa firestorm. I know there is magic in the North Pole so I’m asking you to sprinkle some fairy dust liberally in Northern California to cover my relatives and all those who are struggling to rebuild their lives.
Thanks, Santa. I appreciate just the idea of a jolly, old white man who spreads happiness wherever he goes. Keep up the good work! I’ll try to follow your example in 2018.
An Old Believer
For Christmas, I want a coal bucket full of patience. But I cannot wait until Christmas, I need it right now.
You see, I’m not only hyper, anal, and retired, I’m an engineer, a problem solver, and as my signature implies, I’m also a man.
Crap, it’s like the convergence of the solar system at Stonehenge.
You’d think one thing you could teach yourself is patience, but apparently not. I am generally revving on all eight cylinders, raring to go.
Today, I’m sitting in an empty house that is filled with ghosts. Santa, I want to scream. I feel pushed against a brick wall, and forced to dig out of this mess with a spoon. I’m slogging through a mud of memories and sadness. I have to admit, I’m a little afraid of falling into this mud. I’ll need patience to continue digging with nothing but my tiny spoon. Otherwise, I may foolishly resort to dynamite.
Seven Christmas’s ago, you gave me the gift of the PRC, a place where I can arrive raring to go and revving on all cylinders. That gift is filled with friends, a cohort of like mind and spirit, who are also revved up and raring to go.
I thank you for that gift. But being the selfish bastard that I am, I need more. So Santa, today I am begging you for patience. (A stocking full of wisdom, mixed with tolerance, wouldn’t be excessive either.)
This is my first letter to you. Up until this winter, I didn’t know kids wrote letters to you. That’s why I rarely met you in my whole life, I guess.
I remember the first time I met you in kindergarten. Thanks to my older siblings, I was aware “there is no such thing as Santa.” Amidst hearty cheers for Santa, I wondered whose mother was dressed up as Santa? After getting my present, I wondered when my mother had slipped it to our teacher? That might be because of my present. Many friends got toys but my gift was a button-powered, automatic-open, pencil case. A necessity for any Korean first grade student. This present started my disgustingly healthy school life.
My second Santa was a college classmate. I planned to sleep all Christmas day but that morning, I got a phone call. A friend wanted me to come out, right away. What? Why? I hurried out to the wide open plaza where he waiting. He was standing there wearing a Santa’s costume!! As soon as he saw me, he said, “Why are you so late?” He was embarrassed to be standing around in a Santa suit! He handed me a music CD and literally, ran away.
These two times of your showing up are good memories, and I appreciated the visits. But honestly, your gifts were not so impressive. This year, I don’t care if you visit, or how you look–fat/skinny or old/young, I’m focused on your gift. I know I am too old for Santa gifts, but you skipped me for a long time!
Also I’d like to remind you, all last year, I didn’t cry when I lost something I cherished. I didn’t pout when our car stopped in the countryside of Michigan. When my husband made lame jokes, I said, I love you with a big smile rather than being naughty. Moreover, I was told I have attended English class at PRC more than 300 hours this year! I’m afraid I made very little improvement with all those hours, but I will not give up in frustration. I will go to PRC more often next year!! This is quite a “nice” thing, so please add it to that list which you are checking twice. I hope these good behaviors are enough to get a really good gift from you.
Here is my list: a job for my husband. Maybe one nearby, so I can stay close to new friends?
Even though I believe in your fast and invisible hands, I also understand things can move slow this time of year. Please don’t make me wait past January!