Dear Santa Claus,
First and foremost, Santa… what the hell? Where is that pony I asked for? It’s been twelve years, and I have seen nary a barn animal under our tree. Or next to the tree, I guess, chewing on the other presents and knocking the nativity scene over with an almighty kick and a whinny. I imagined there would be one or two logistical problems with squeezing it down the chimney, or with leading it inconspicuously onto the porch, through the door, and down the hall. But come on, Santa. Make with the Christmas magic.
Were you waiting for me to grow up so I would ask for something more practical? If so, well played, old man. Well played. This was my Christmas list when I was seven:
Crayons (just an ungodly amount of crayons… don’t ask)
Pokemon Crystal Version
A new scooter (crashed the old one into a mailbox)
A hamster cage (this was part of my plan to coerce my parents into letting me get a hamster. I figured if we had a cage, they’d be like, “Well, there’s nothing to do now but put a hamster in it. I don’t see that we have a choice.”)
ALL of the Polly Pockets
A new Super Nintendo (the old one was drop-kicked during a game of Donkey Kong that got out of hand)
A Furby (a misguided decision; this thing gave me nightmares for weeks. Once I tried to throw it out... and it came back)
A Super Soaker (this would ultimately ignite an arms race as all the neighborhood kids struggled to one-up each other with bigger and better Super Soakers)
A Wonder Ball
Now, however, my Christmas list looks something like this:
Food for the pony
Okay, yes, it could be argued that my standards are slipping a little bit, but I’ll be damned if that isn’t practical. “FOOD FOR THE PONY.” Right? Right? The joke’s on you, sir. You waited, and you waited in VAIN.
I’ll confess something, Santa. When I was a kid, I thought the day I willingly wrote “clothes” on my Christmas list would be the day I would walk outside and throw myself off the nearest cliff. But things change, dude. I thought age nineteen was super old and mature, and I think I pretty much expected to have it together by now. My little-kid self might be surprised to know that, although my (somewhat boring) Christmas list suggests otherwise, I am basically stumbling through life in search of free stuff and struggling to graduate college, while simultaneously trying to watch all sixteen seasons of Pokemon and see how much pizza one can feasibly consume. It’s been a journey.
In conclusion, Santa, I may watch the news and eat vegetables, and I might be an adult by some definition (i.e. the law, I guess), but dammit, I still want that pony. Now, however, I have some stipulations. I now wish for this pony to be able to talk, and also to breathe fire. I understand that this will be difficult. But I also understand that you enjoy a certain quality to the cookies I leave by the fireplace every year. I’m a reasonable person. The cookies can go right on being as warm and delicious as they have always been; they don’t have to suck. They don't have to be gross, dry, flat, and crunchy in all the wrong ways. As soon as crossbreeding technologies catch up, I expect to find a talking, fire-breathing dragon-pony in my living room on Christmas morning. And the cookies will continue being excellent. See? We can both be happy here.
Wishing you a happy holiday,
P.S. I’m sorry about the blatant taunting, aggression, and threats of coercion. It's been a while since my last Santa letter, and I'm a bit out of practice. I’m also sorry about that time at the mall. You remember. I sat on your lap, and I can’t say this with absolute certainty, but I’m guessing I was probably the only six-year-old that smiled brightly, leaned in, and whispered, “You’d better be the real Santa. If you’re not…” (Menacing pause.) “…I’LL KNOW.”
At which point the assistant elf took the picture, capturing you with your nervous, faltering half-smile and me with the chilling gaze and smirk of a budding psychopath.
I’m starting to see why I didn’t get the pony.