Dear Santa, You probably don’t get very many letters from people my age, but Mom and Dad always said that Santa only brings gifts to people who believe in him, so even though I’m almost sixteen and haven’t believed in you for years, I’m going to believe in you today. I’m a little older now and I don’t really need any toys for Christmas, so I thought I’d help you out by giving you a list of things I could really use. First of all, I’m getting kind of tired of my PlayStation, so would you please put an XBox under the tree this year? I think we can agree that I’ve been good enough for that. There is something else I’ve always wanted: A pet ferret. I promise I won’t let it climb on the drapes or do its business in your bed… I mean my mom’s bed. So… there shouldn’t be a problem with that, right? Also, I’m going to be getting my driver’s license soon, as you know, so I think it’s only right that, for all the times I cleaned my room and remembered to take the garbage out, I should get a Ferrari. A red one, please. Don’t know if you can do this, but I need to gain about 30 pounds and some biceps. How is a skinny guy supposed to impress the girls without any biceps? Of course, I know there’s a bit of an issue with wrapping a set of biceps, so if you want, you can simply use your magic snowball and make me wake up with them on Christmas morning. Oh, and one more thing. I need cash. Lots of cash. Twenties will be fine. You told me… I mean… my mom told me to write down what I wanted for Christmas. Well, these are the things I really want. If I don’t see them under the tree on Christmas morning, well, then, another piece of my innocence will have been cruelly stolen from me by my heartless parents.
– A Hopeful Teenager
Dear Fledgling Con Artist: How could you doubt my existence? If you are reading this note, I know that you will have found the large X-box I placed under your tree. That is, by far, the strangest gift anyone has ever asked for. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why you’d want a box with X’s all over it. Perhaps it’s simply a place to keep all of the other gifts you’ve asked for. X is a pretty cool letter, after all. In your X-box you will find a Ferrari… a red one. It is quite small, I know. You probably could not seat a Lilliputian in it comfortably, but you can drive it by remote control! I knew you could not possibly mean a full-sized Ferrari as that would be cruel and unusual punishment even for a son… I mean, teenager… as self-centered… I mean inventive… as you are. You see, a man needs to learn how to discipline himself before he can be trusted behind the wheel of a car that is not meant to go the speed limit. Even if I could fit a full-sized Ferrari in my bag – and I’m not saying I can’t - it’s magic, you know – I would be gifting you with a very short lifespan filled with speeding tickets. I couldn’t do that to you. By the way: Lilliputians? You can read about them in the book you will find in your X-box called “Gulliver’s Travels.” Gulliver went many places and had tons of adventures and he did it all without a Ferrari. Your X-box also contains your new pet. My elves don’t make a ferret, but this cute little puppy does not need to be fed. It doesn’t climb drapes, dig holes in the yard or take a dump in anyone’s bed. He also doesn’t cause allergy symptoms for your older brother, which is something to which I know you are very sympathetic. A stuffed, no-maintenance pet! You can thank me next year. His name is Dweeble. Santa has also brought 30 pounds for you in the form of a set of dumbbells. Simply take them out of your X-box and put them back in, 50 times every day, and you will “magically” have those biceps in no time at all. If you keep eating the way you are, you’ll gain lots of weight even after you decide you don’t want it anymore. A tip from the North Pole: A girl whose requirements for friendship include biceps is probably not the kind of girl you’d actually want to hang out with anyway. Last, but not least: Cash. No matter how much money I give you, it will never be enough to last your lifetime. What does last a lifetime is the skill to make money, a good work ethic to acquire that skill, and the discipline for money management. I can’t give you those, but I can give you the means to start on that journey. If you look in your X-box, you will find the “Help Wanted” section of the newspaper. Call any telephone number on that piece of paper and do exactly what they tell you to do, to the best of your ability, and you will be well on your way to earning that Ferrari… and anything else you want. Merry Christmas, Son, and Happy New Year!