Dear Santa,

Don't get me wrong. I'm not firing you, and I still think the world of you and all the good you do, but personally, with all due respect, I just don't need your help this year.

Please take the things you would have brought me, and the time you would have spent on me, and put them toward the numberless others who need your help so much more.

Do whatever you can to make their day brighter, because, Lord knows, they need it so.

The people in my personal and professional world have been extremely good to me over the years. So, not coincidentally, have you.

The result is that those people, and you, have provided virtually all the material and spiritual things I need.

The few extravagances I still want have enough zeroes to the left of the decimal point to give me vertigo.

Because of that, I'll never let you or anyone else get them for me, because I'm just not a big enough human being to take being that obligated to anyone.

I realize that, philosophically, the following suggestions to you are about as fat-headed as offering God helpful hints during Creation, but that aside, here are some suggestions about what you may consider bring, and to whom:

--Bring this nation together. Stop the unending political strife. Teach people to work together and share sacrifice to achieve some higher goal, such as helping our nation, and our brothers and sisters, become all they can be, and should be.

--Help each of us to obey the law, help our fellow man or woman, in some way give back to our community, learn to do the right thing instead of the easy thing.

--Help stamp out the rampant philosophy of “me-ism” in this nation. Me-ism’s main principle is, of course: “It’s all about ‘me’. I’m going to do what I want, not do what I don’t want, and I don’t give a rotten fig about anyone else.

A couple or a family or a country can’t survive me-ism. As evidence, look at the old Roman days of bread and circuses.

Want more current evidence? I offer as Exhibit A the next time you hear someone say words to this effect: “I ain’t wearing no mask, and you can’t make me. And I’m going out partying tonight with all my buds, and you can’t stop me from that either.”

For Exhibit B, well, sit in on a session of divorce court.

--Bring some peace to the next of kin of the thousands of innocents who have died from Covid-19. Help the survivors understand that their loved ones didn't die in vain, that they were taken early because for some unfathomable reason, it was God's will.

--Bring a day of happiness to all those who are sick through no fault of their own. Bring them days free of pain. As stocking stuffers, bring each a smile and a laugh.

--Bring a Covid-19 vaccine which is cheap, dependable, accessible to all at a reasonable price.

--Help insure that God's hand is raised in protection over all the members of our armed forces who are battling terrorism abroad so we won’t have to fight those battles in this country. Bring all of our servicemen and servicewomen home safely from that nasty, dangerous job.

More close to home:

--Bring local lawmen solutions to any unsolved homicides in this county. This gift has an added benefit: It also brings closure to the next of kin.

--Bring our local law enforcement types a drug dealer or burglar wrapped up in a bow, with a signed confession sticking out of his or her britches pocket. Sad to say, there are plenty of choices available locally for those particular gifts.

--Bring local firefighters a year free of having to pull someone's body out of a fire.

--Bring a job to every man or woman who truly wants to work.

--Bring the Chickasaw Development Foundation clients representing industries and industry expansion. All those things bring jobs and paychecks and put money into circulation and benefits folks all year long.

--Bring the Chickasaw County School District willing students and capable teachers, hopefully in person, but by distance learning if you must. The district has plenty of both, but feel free to bring more. There can never be too much of either.

To do all this, of course, you'll need Divine help.

Feel free to pray for it. After all, consider whose Birthday is the reason for this season.

Merry Christmas.

--RS/Hank.

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