Perhaps last year around this time you read my mock article about work conditions in the North Pole? If in anyway that offended you or your elves, I express my deepest regrets. With the recent downturn in manufacturing and pressure on labor unions from big business, perhaps the timing of my post was insensitive. I'm writing today to make amends - please accept my most sincere apology.
In keeping with my sense of contrition, I am going to write a letter of thanks rather than of wants. To be honest, I have all of the things I need and want, or at least rationally could use. I have no need of, to quote from The Grinch, packages, boxes, or bags. In a season too focused on "getting", I would like to give thanks for what I have already.
First, I have a most wonderful home. It is secure, in a wonderful town full of remarkable people, many whom I call friends. Sure, it has some peeling paint, a few drafty windows, and some mismatched fixtures. But it is not a mere house; it is our refuge and escape. We all sleep peacefully, each of us surrounded by comfort. What more could I dream of?
Secondly, thank you for my son. He is perfect in every way, meaning that as far as people can be perfect, he is wonderfully real. He is healthy, optimistic, athletic, respectful, and courageous. I watch him grow with a sense of awe and wonderment, knowing that I couldn't be more blessed.
But I am more blessed, as I also am graced to be the father of a beautiful daughter. She is wise, philosophical, clever, and strong. She is emerging as the kind of young woman anyone would like to know, a balance of beauty and ability - with a slice of humility - that forebode great things. A unifier, she is not so interested in the little things like labels, fashion, or popularity. Rather, she seems to see one's soul and she measures it carefully. Woe to those who pose as something they are not!
Lastly, Santa, I give thanks for Mrs. Odds. She is beyond description as a mother, friend, and partner. We have gone down many roads together, and when I stumble, she lends me her strength. When I am angry, she is calm. When I am silly, she is patient. When I joke, she laughs, even when I'm not a funny as I think I am. She is hot, too, but as gentlemen we'll avoid the details, right?
So, as you and the elves prepare to bless the world with presents, tidings of joy, and special memories, perhaps you can give a little more to some soul other than me, as I already have the gifts I cherish most.