Please consider this letter my request for 2008. I realize I’m writing just a tad earlier than normal, but what I want for next year is a bit ambitious, and I think you and your hard-working elves might need the entire 364 days to come up with what I need. You see, I want something bigger than a doll or a football or even a pink pony. I want something bigger than a new camera or new computer or even a shiny new car. In fact, what I want is bigger even than the end of famine, the resurrection of the rain forest … bigger, even, than world peace.
I want v-chip technology so I can program my kids’ personalities next Christmas to NOT be total brats.
I want the ability to pre-determine the attitudes and behavior of my children on Christmas Day. Maybe even a few days before and a few days after … but if that’s too greedy, just Christmas Day would be enough.
I want children who stay in their bedrooms until 7am like I’ve asked them to. I want children who don’t argue over whose turn it is to play Santa and pass out the gifts. I want children who don’t argue over whose turn it is to go FIRST when I say we’ll take turns playing Santa.
I probably won’t change any part of the actual gift-exchanging-and-opening part of the morning. My kids, thankfully, are pretty gracious receivers, and have always been genuinely excited to share what they’ve picked out for others. So for about an hour yesterday morning, things were good. But Santa, it was all downhill from there.
I want children who can manage to make it five minutes past the gift-opening part of the morning without losing part of their new toys already. Children who listen to me when I say it’s not necessary to open up every single game and every single accessory first thing, before we’ve even had a chance to organize ourselves and throw away the trash. Children who don’t pitch a complete fit when they realize the plastic shark’s tooth from their “totally awesome shark activity book is missing, aaahhhhhhh!” because they didn’t listen to me and ripped the damn thing open even though I told them to wait.
Children who don’t fight over who gets to watch their new movie first. Children who are willing to pick up the new toys and games and actually carry them upstairs to their rooms. Children who are willing to hang up their new clothes, for Pete’s sake, is that asking too much???? Children who will FREAKING LISTEN TO ME when I tell them we don’t have all the things we need to run the stupid, stupid, “I will kill my sister for buying him this” Creepy Crawlers factory, and who open up all the bottles of dye even though I told them not to and then pour the dye into the molds without putting down newspapers first like I asked on my brand new dining room table because why on earth should you listen to mom and then spill the dye on my brand-freaking-new placemats and who then, then, THEN have the nerve to get mad at ME because I don’t have a 60-watt candelabra light bulb which you of course need to make the Creepy Crawler factory work and what does he suggest I do just PULL ONE OUT OF MY ASS??????
Children who don’t call each other “Idiot!” and then cry when they lose at Kerplunk. Children who don't get angry when they can't do their new Wii Dance Party Revolution perfectly the very first time so they stomp around and talk about what a stupid game it is and how it's probably defective, anyway. Children who don’t misplace their brand-new iPod the very first day and children who don’t get mad at one another when one of them leaves his new chess set sitting on the edge of the table and then yells at the kid who walks by and bumps it and knocks everything to the floor, scattering kings and queens and knights all over the place.
Most of all, dear Santa, I need v-chip technology so that next year, we go more than one day past Christmas without hearing those two most dreaded post-Christmas phrases ever known to man:
“There’s nothing to DO!”
And Santa, if you can’t manage the v-chip, please let me change my request to an adult-only Christmas next year on a beach, just me, Blaine, some palm trees, and big ole’ pitcher of amaretto.
And I swear I’ve been good,
PS. I suppose the highlight to all this, Santa, is that we're not Jewish. Because Dear Lord, if I had to go through eight days of this Hell, I would cancel Christmas and Hannakuh and Valentines Day, too.