Dear Santa,

Some folks have told me that I’m too old to write a letter to Santa, but I don’t believe them. To be honest, people who think one can be too old to write a letter to Santa probably don’t believe in you in the first place. So how are you and Mrs. Claus doing? I hope well. I worry about you two and all the work you do. I know that one of these days you’re going to have to slow down and I fear that some big conglomerate will buy you out and install robotics.

Then what would all your elves do? There’s not a lot of demand for elves anywhere but at the North Pole, you know. They would have a tough time acclimating here in the States. The elves surely would have to change their wardrobe. Pointy shoes, tights and smocks that barely clear the buns just wouldn’t cut it in an office, at the factory or at the sale barn. Then again maybe they’d fit in somewhere in California.

I know I’m not nearly as charming as all those little kids that write to you each year, Santa, but I hope you’ll give my Christmas list some consideration anyway.

This year for Christmas I would like a comb that has a ground wire to eliminate static build-up. As my hair gets thinner it’s difficult to comb without building up static. Then it sticks out every which way and I look like Albert Einstein. I don’t want to be accused of false advertising.

I would also like a new shotgun. I’m not much of a hunter and I have never gone deer hunting but the deer population is ridiculously high down here in Iowa. It’s not safe to drive at night any more. A little venison in the freezer wouldn’t be so bad. (By the way, Rudolph and the rest don’t need to know about this request. Just wrap the gun in a big square box.)

Please don’t laugh at this request: I’d really like one of those wireless remote-controlled helicopters. I see kids playing with them and they look like great fun. If I bought one for myself everyone would laugh, but I figure if you brought me one I could say, "Well, gee, I have to play with it. You wouldn’t want me to hurt Santa’s feelings, would you?" I must admit, Santa, that as I get older my penchant for electronic gadgets has cooled. Not too many years ago I wanted every new electronic contraption that came out. I loved cell phones, Palm Pilots, remote controls, portable CD players… you remember the things I asked for 20 years ago. All of that stuff has become so complicated I don’t care much for it anymore.

These days my work cell phone is one of those "smart phones." Either it isn’t as smart as it’s advertised to be or I’m not as smart as I think I am. I discover I have a voice message but my phone never rang. I accidentally touch a button on the side of the phone (where I always thought one should grip a cell phone) and the call is dropped. It drives me crazy.

Those Jitterbug phones advertised in the senior citizen magazines are looking better all the time. Santa, I want a "dumb phone" for Christmas.

When I was a high school kid I wore my blue jeans so tight I had to use a pair of pliers to pull up the zipper. I remember telling my father that his slacks were too baggy and that he needed to get with it and wear tighter slacks. Dad told me in no uncertain terms that if he couldn’t pull on his pants over his shoes he didn’t want them. Guess what, Santa! I now understand my father’s sentiments. If you bring me any clothing items, please be sure they are generously cut. My tailor is Omar the Tentmaker; he understands what I need.

Well, Santa, that’s the extent of my list. For all practical purposes I’ve been a good boy again this year. I’ll leave some party mix on the kitchen table Christmas Eve. If you happen to get too many cookies along the way, feel free to leave a few at my house. I assure you they won’t go to waste (though they undoubtedly will go to the waist.)

Merry Christmas, Santa. Have a safe trip.

Your friend,