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December 11, 2000

Dear Santa,

I realize that this is an especially busy time for you and that you are preparing to bring joy and holiday spirit to millions of children around the globe. Normally, I would not dream of disturbing you during the holiday season and indeed it was with much regret that I contact you now. However, as we are both men of the world, I am sure you will appreciate my efforts to broach my concerns with you in a friendly missive rather than resorting to more dire and impolite methods of garnering your admittedly taxed attentions. I shall endeavor, therefore, to be forthright and blunt and state plainly what injuries I feel need to be redressed.

I am chiefly concerned with what appears to be a grave oversight on your part circa December 1983. Although the legends of your near omniscience are frequently repeated as true, for the sake of lucidity I shall give a brief summary of the events leading up to that particular Christmas. In 1983, I'm sure you are aware, I was, even by the strictest standards, an uncommonly good child. Not only did I eat all of my vegetables, maintain high academic marks, go to bed on-time without fuss or hesitating, brushed my teeth religiously and remain still in Church; I also listened to pointless stories of the elderly and rescued and fed starving kittens. It is, I am certain, needless to remind you that I kept up my impeccable behavior for the entirety of 1983 without ever once faltering with the understanding that good behavior would be rewarded by you with an equivalent gift. I am certain you will also recall what I requested that year in my letter to you which was plainly typed on christmas stationery; a cherry red bicycle with orange reflectors.

Herein lies my grievance with you; I did not receive the aforementioned cherry red bicycle in 1983, or indeed in any year following. I did not and do not feel that a cherry red bicycle is an extravagant request, especially considering that Angela Jenkins asked for a Pony and a private yacht in that same year. Certainly, I felt that my impeccable behavior warranted such a modest reward. You may recall that Johnny Vasquez was a child who behaved deplorably, he cheated on tests and stole other children's lunch money, however you gifted him with a blue bicycle similar in style to the one I requested from you. While the chemistry set I received that year is by no means the equivalent of a lump of coal, it is not what I had requested from you, and it did seem especially insulting to see Johnny Vasquez tool around on his sporty blue ten-speed.

I am certain that you are well aware that my behavior in the years following 1983 was no longer angelic. Indeed, the traumatic experience of Christmas 1983 fueled the lack of faith and distrust in humanity that has led me down the path I now travel. But this letter is not intended to evoke sympathy for the twisted life I have led or the mistakes I have made; rather it is an attempt to collect on a debt some seventeen years old. I feel that I am owed a red bicycle for being good for the entirety of 1983, and that it is in your power to easily remedy the resentment I have felt towards you these long years.

Perhaps you will scoff while reading this letter. You are a busy man, and cannot be faulted for overlooking one child many years ago. Unfortunately, I have a near pathological compulsion to collect on all debts owed me, and this letter is only a friendly precursor to more unpleasant activities that may occur if I do not receive satisfaction. Enclosed within this envelope you will find a photograph of a certain body part that is, at this writing, still attached to a close associate of yours. You are an astute man, and noticing this part's unusual luminescence (you might even say it glows) you are certain to recognize the individual to whom it belongs to. At this writing, this individual is my honored guest, being fed oats and apples and all manner of delightful treats. If I receive the cherry red bicycle within seven days, he shall be returned to you in good health and good spirits. If, by some unfortunate circumstance, I do not receive the red bicycle in seven days, well.. they say that reindeer meat is exceptionally tasty as well as being lower in fat and better for you than beef. I would hope that you come to your senses and render unto me that which is mine as soon as possible; Mrs. Claus has the unfortunate habit of going out on the town alone twice weekly and I would hate for her to have a nasty accident.


Evil Catullus

P.S. I know of a few others who have grievances with your gift distributing practices; you might want to be careful sliding down chimneys this Christmas Eve

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is world peace and happiness. No really, I'm not kidding! I don't really want a razor scooter, or special edition pokemon cards, or Diablo II. I'm not kidding, all I want is world peace.

Love, Joe

I think one of the biggest problems with Christmas these days is how it causes such crass commercialism in the light of what it really should be about.

I'll admit that I'm not Christian, but my parents were, so we have somewhat inherited the celebration of Christmas without any of the religious implications. But just because I'm not Christian doesn't mean I don't respect the ideals it has come to stand for. Sharing, spending time with family, and renewing old bonds. But I think people are a little too heavy on the exchanging gifts and not heavy enough on the spending time with people you love.

To fix this, do something radical, go here: http://adbusters.org/campaigns/bnd/toolbox/voucher.html and give a gift exemption voucher to someone you love. Tell them it is to help preserve the environment and fight against commercialism. They may not like it at first, but when they think about it, they'll understand that the gift of love is all you need to give.

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