Column: Dear Santa, I’m on your side

Dear Santa,

It’s been almost 365 days since I wrote to you and I want to
begin by telling you that the gift you broughtSanta
me last Christmas just didn’t cut
it. I don’t know where you picked up that lousy beard trimmer. I guess it was
silly of me to expect someone like you to know anything about beard

Before I give you my wish list for this Christmas, I’m sure
you want to know whether I’ve been naughty or nice. I’ve been extremely nice,
Santa. Unlike you, I haven’t said “ho ho ho” to anyone. I haven’t called a
single person “ho,” not even a married one. But I did get slapped in the garden
center of Wal-Mart when I asked for a certain digging implement. People are just
so touchy these days.

Don’t get me wrong, Santa. I support your right to
say “ho ho ho” to anyone you please. People who complain about that are just
horrible and hopeless and probably offended that those words begin with

I’m on your side, Santa, that’s what I want to say. I don’t agree
with the U.S. Surgeon General, who believes you’re fat and unhealthy and a poor
role model for kids. You’ve always been a good role model for me, Santa. At dinner
time, when I’m trying to decide whether to have another slice of pizza, I always
ask myself, “What would Santa do?” And then I eat five more.

I also
disagree with the people who want you to stop saying “Merry Christmas” because
it might offend people of other religions. It’s so easy to get offended these
days, Santa. I could get offended every time someone says “What’s up?” to me.
Frankly, Santa, I’m getting old and there’s nothing up anymore. Well, aside from
my cholesterol, that is.

Listen, Santa, I’d prefer it if you didn’t say
“Happy Holidays!” That’s just so dull and insipid. Instead of that, why not say
“Merry Christmas!” to Christians and “Happy Diwali” to Hindus? And if you’re not
sure if someone is Christian or Hindu, just say, “Merry Chriswali!”

running out of space, Santa, so I’d better start my wish list. The first thing
I’d like this Christmas is a full tank of gas. It’s getting too expensive to
drive my car. I wish the gas station would change its name to “Exxon Bank,” so I
wouldn’t feel so bad about depositing all my money there. (If you can’t afford
to get me a full tank of gas, then just bring me an electric or hybrid car,
Santa. Perhaps a Lexus that I can drive all the way to Texas.)

I’d also
like one of those things that young people wear on their ears. I think it’s
called a cell phone. Actually, I’d like two of them, Santa, one for each ear.
That would make it easier for me to talk to myself. Frankly, Santa, I don’t know
whom all those young people are talking to. I wish someone would call me –- other
than that darn telemarketer in Bangalore.

I’d also like a blackberry, Santa. Perhaps an apple too. They’re not for me, Santa, they’re for my nephew.
He’s always asking for fruit. I asked him if he likes any vegetables and he said
something about “black-eyed peas.”

I’d also like one of those musical
devices. I think it’s called an iPod. I could buy it myself, Santa, but my wife
might object. I’d prefer to just say “iPod” to her, without having to say

Finally, Santa, I’d like a pair of glasses. One for wine and
the other for beer. I don’t usually drink, Santa, but I have a feeling my wife
will –- as soon as she sees the latest deposit slip.

Photo by laughingboyottawa

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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