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A letter to Santa Claus
editor's notes

Dear Santa, Hope you’ve been well.

How’s Mrs. Claus? How about your elves, are you keeping them busy? How are your reindeer?

I used to be able to name them all, but the older I get the less of the really important stuff I remember, and the names of flying reindeers are pretty important.

Some grownups might not think so and probably consider flying reindeers fake news.

“That’s childish,” they’ll say, as if that’s a bad thing for someone to be, even though truth be told it would be nice to be childish enough to go play marbles in the dirt for a while, or pop a wheelie or two on a bike, or put a tack on a publisher’s chair.

Besides, you know what?

Being an adult isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. It’s like so-called growth, a euphemism for doing bad things to our planet like knocking down trees, which is not a pleasant sight if you really stop and think about it. Except we don’t.

We say trees have to go for a lot of reasons, including to make paper for this newspaper.

In our industry’s defense, we use recycled paper and in any case require less now than ever, as newspapers wither and are replaced by self-anointed experts on everything.

I do know one of the reasons trees in our neck of the woods are knocked down is because we need more subdivisions, because that’s what we need. Just ask the people who build them. We need more people so we’ll need more jobs and a bigger economy, because bigger is always better.

But that’s not why I’m writing you.

As you know, Santa, this time of year we fill up the Bryan County News with letters to you from local school kids.

They’re always the best thing in this paper that issue, and I suspect you enjoy reading them as much as I do. I hear from readers who truly enjoy them, and never mind the experts on anti-social media.

They obviously can’t help themselves, or they wouldn’t be wasting precious time on Facebook, the chumps.

Anyway, there aren’t any letters this year and it’s my fault.

I lost my father Dec. 8, and in the weeks and days before that I spent as much time as I could with him because he was my best friend for 58 years and took care of me all his life. It was my turn for a while.

It was the very least I could do.

Anyway, during that time I forgot to reach out to Bryan County Schools for your letters. I’m sure you understand, because you’re Santa and that puts you right up there with great people I know, like Wendy Sims, who is probably your best elf in Bryan County.

And it’s not just her. I know a lot of great people, too many to name.

In most cases, what makes them great is they don’t think they’re great. You can pick them out because they’re the ones not taking credit for anything and not asking for publicity.

Either that, or they’re what we adults like to call senior citizens – who are a level of cool us younger citizens reach when we get old enough to understand that life is short and precious, and not to be wasted on the small stuff.

And just about everything is small stuff.

I’ll remember the Santa letters next year, if there’s still such a thing as newspapers by the time December 2020 rolls around.

In the meantime, my grownup self knows kids still wrote you letters, no matter whether they ran in this newspaper or not, and I’m glad of that.

As for what I want this year, it’s pretty simple. I want to win a Powerball jackpot of at least $150 million.

I promise to use the money to do good, like buying up lots of land to save it from the developers. You can make it happen Santa.

Thanks. Your good friend, Jeff.

PS. I’ll leave the milk and cookies by the fake fireplace. Hope you like my wife’s tree.

PSPS. I wrote this on Sunday and this paper is being delivered Tuesday, even though the date on this newspaper says Thursday.

So it’s still Christmas where it matters.

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