Dear Santa,

I must apologize that I have taken these once every year letters for granted.  In past years, I would usually ask for something crazy like a new gaming console or one of those new Ford Broncos that we might see some time in the next year.  I also usually end up being very satisfied with socks, underwear, and if I’m lucky, some chocolate.  However, I will not turn down the new gaming console or a Bronco if you have extra ones lying around that can fit in your sleigh with everything else that you’re carrying this year.

If I can be honest, I am much more appreciative of the simple gatherings with family and conversations with loved ones this year with everything going on.  I realize that, like socks and underwear, we might have taken these times together for granted.  Having family gatherings with pie, pound cake, and wassail was a forgone conclusion for the last forty-plus years of my life.  I can fix a pound cake and wassail and even have my grandmother’s recipe.  Unfortunately, they never taste the same as they did at her house.  I miss those days sitting in my grandfather’s orange leather living room chair opening Christmas gifts. I’m sure you remember the one I am talking about, it was orange!  Not a unique shade of Brown, it was ORANGE.  And I loved it.  If you have a way to recreate those memories, would you please permanently add that to my list.  I feel a little humbled to need to include these family gatherings on my list, but they mean more now than they ever have. 

I also realize that the fatigue of fighting Covid-19 over the past year has left all of us a bit tired and grumpy.  As you know, communities are fighting over masks, politics, and vaccines, and our community is no different.  I am sure that these are well-meaning people, and I would hope that you exercise some grace when deciding which of these fine people have met the threshold to be included on your naughty list.  I do have faith in our people, even the ones I can’t entirely agree with, and I will vouch for each of them.  If you have some special magic that might minimize our frustration with this mess, something that will make us more neighborly, I would like to add it to all of our Christmas lists.  

Finally, I would like to let you know that I have already received far more than I deserve, so if you need to use the space on your sleigh for someone else, I certainly understand. I will not take this as a slight.  But, if you feel the need to bring me socks, t-shirts, or underwear, remember that I am a bit of a stress eater, and you might want to go with a size larger this year.  

Best wishes and stay healthy,
Todd Trantham