I feel funny writing to an illusory idyllic personification of the spirit of giving. But then again, I once voted Green Party.
You know, when I was a kid, I remember writing letters to you and feeling absolutely paralyzed at the beginning of each letter, knowing I had to make with the idle chatter and dream up some chit-chat before getting to my greedy-little-kid wish list of the gimme-gimme’s. Now, Santa, I’ve grown up some, but not a whole lot, so you know I’ve still got a list. But, up until recently, I also had an income, so now I mostly go ahead and pick up the items I’d like, rather than making a list and hoping you, Mom and the Sears Wish Book come through for me. Them’s the facts. And it goes a long way to explaining why Dad always got so many ties and socks for Christmas.
One of the things I remember asking about in that preamble to my wish list was something about the welfare of Mrs. Claus and the reindeer. I don’t recall worrying too much about the elves.
I also remember (with 35mm quality image and Dolby sound) the conversation I had with The Admiral vis-à-vis the likelihood of your existence, back when I was a wee kid in flannel pajamas. Quite an evening, that. And I credit The Admiral with handling our conversation regarding the nature of illusion, the spirit versus corporeal reality, and the disappointment of deconstructed fairy tales better than he handled dating advice (which boiled down to: hold the door and chew with your mouth closed).
So we’re now 2006 solar cycles Anno Domini. Christmas has more or less been celebrated for a good chunk of the last 1000 cycles, with no signs of slowing, so I have to think that’s good for business up at The North Pole. Hope the reindeer and Mrs. Clause are doing real well.
I confess, Christmas this year has reminded me what a contradiction the Holiday can be. All signs point to League HQ having their merriest Christmas in years, but we’re also acutely aware of what this year has taken, not just from us, but from friends and family. And although there are lights in abundance and carols playing through every PA in town, sometimes it hits us like a tidal wave that some friends are bravely fighting sickness. And some are just working toward making it to tomorrow.
But that’s what Christmas is, I think, when you pass from being the kid in the flannel pajamas to the guy in his boxers, paying the mortgage.
You bundle up and sing a few carols, and try not to think too hard about who we're missing, and what it might have been in years past. And you look up at the tree and try not to ponder too hard on what a whacked out world we've carved out for ourselves. So, I try to remember: no matter your creed, the spirit of the season is giving. And that giving is done out of hope for a better tomorrow.
You’ll pardon me, Santa, if I don’t mind terribly much if you skip my house this year. You know, even though I sort of think of you as that illusory idyllic personification of the spirit of giving, sometimes, this year I'm reminded that I may count on you to take it a step beyond merely existing as an ideological construct, and instead ask you to physically manifest and take care of those things which I should probably do.
Wow. That really wasn’t the direction I meant to go, Santa. But as you’re an omniscient spectator of sorts (like Uatu, the Watcher!), I guess you would have figured it out sooner or later.
I’m going to leave the ball in your court whether I’ve been a good boy this year. I paid my taxes. I voted. I helped old ladies pull items off the shelf in the grocery aisle. I tried to keep the evil to a minimum. So if you're not going to skip my house...
This year, I would like the following:
1) Continued livelihood of my car’s air conditioning system
2) Socks. Mine are all old.
3) To find my green shirt (which is probably in the same dimensional vortex in our house as Lucy’s collar and the old coffee pot)
4) To see a Rockets or Spurs game
5) Size 14, outdoor quad roller skates
6) Action Comics #252 in VF+ condition or better
7) Jamie’s continued patience
8) A red cape, tall size (uh… no special reason)
9) Caterina Murino
10) A complete run of Vol. 1 of New Gods and Forever People
11) A better year for my friends and family in 2007
12) the usual for Jamie. Thanks.
So, thanks, Santa. I know some of these are tall orders. Especially that run on Forever People. But you’re Santa, and I know you’ll do your best.
Merry Christmas, Sir. We’ll leave out some nog and cookies for you.
Ryan (aka: The League)