Dear Santa…..

I am a Christmas brat. There, I said it.

For as long as I can remember, excluding my Navy days, near the end of November, I have always prepared a Christmas Wish list and handed it to my family, friends, and spouse, much to their dismay.  

            “If you are wondering what I would like for Christmas, here is my list”, is the accompanying note I would provide either via email, snail-mail, or a good old paper list. In my house, I would strategically place the list in a conspicuous location where it cannot be missed, including under the toilet lid, a trick I learned from our daughter many years ago. I am a pro at this you see.

            Even now, in my sixth decade, I still produce a Christmas list and in turn annoy the crap out of everyone on the receiving end of it. For most, they just write it off that I am an idiot and respond in kind. That response comes in varying forms, which, contain a varying degree of humor, disgust, angst and the highly anticipated, and expected, hand gesture. Except for one or two people, I am not sure anyone else really reads it and it is likely on the receiving end of the delete key. One friend responded by telling me he was getting me the same thing he got me the year before, which was nothing. So, I knew what to expect. Regardless, I take great pleasure in sharing my wishes of gift reception with much glee, good tidings, holiday spirit and, if available, a nice robust glass of red wine and mild cigar.   

         So why all this chatter about a Christmas list, you ask? Well, remember back when you were a kid, it is likely mom and dad would ask you what you would want the fat guy to bring you for Christmas and may have suggested that you make up a Christmas list of the things you would like. As a spry 7-year-old and not being one to poo-poo any idea that results in the getting some cool stuff for Christmas, you would quickly dart off to your room with pencil and paper to jot down everything you have ever wanted your whole life, all toys of course and maybe a baseball glove or skates for good measure, to not seem too consumed with playthings. A soft veil to make you appear like a more well-rounded individual. Sadly, our parents saw clean through that very thin veil.

            List complete, you would fold it up borderline neatly and in your most casual unexcited voice say “So, who gets this?” and with cat like reflexes your dad would snatch it from your hand.

“I’ll forward this to Santa” he would scowl. Mom rolls her eyes. “So, you’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Santa will check to see if you have been naughty or nice and take it from there. Is there anything, in particular, you want on this list?” He would ask, seemingly curious, without opening the list in front of you. Giving you the impression, he was actually going to give it to Santa.

“Well, if I’m being honest, I’m particularly fond of number 37 and number 42. If they are not available, out of stock, backordered or what-have-you, consider number 124, 17, 66 and 273. Oh and number 96 is a possibility but may require a personal loan.” You say with great confidence.

Come Christmas morning, as if someone switched your list with your Uncle Pete from Rochester, irrefutably, socks, underwear and polyester slacks show up under the tree. You put the 50-piece color pencil set in last place at number 332 for a reason and yet, there it is, surrounded by Christmas wrapping paper with images of Snowmen throwing snowballs, under the tree. The preferred #37 and #42 are nowhere to be found. Disappointment.

The around-the-Mulberry-Bush point here is if it is not on a list, you are likely getting socks. Well, you are likely to get socks anyway, but if you put it on the list and get it, you will not be disappointed. Not that I am ever disappointed with any gift I get, I always appreciate the effort anyone makes, as we all should. What I tell anyone is, if you really want to get me something for Christmas, consult the list, anything on there would do just fine. It is a complete win-win for the giver and the receiver. Easy to shop for, no fuss-no muss, no disappointment.

Speaking of disappointment. Here is another reason why I do a Christmas list and for the biker, this is the key reason. Is there a cup-holder for my bike on the list? No? It is not on the list for a reason, I already have one. Is there Skull Derby cover on my list? No? Do you know why? I do not want one, that is why. If you get me a Skull Derby cover for Christmas, we will find ourselves in this awkward moment where I feign excitement while I mentally try to figure out who I can re-gift it to or figure a way out of this without hurting anyone’s feelings. So, no, do not get me anything bike related if it is not on the list, especially if it is fuzzy, furry or does not match the paint scheme of my bike. Consult the list.

So, if you do not want to find yourself in that awkward position when your Aunt Betty gives you a Chrome Guardian Bell in the shape of a big toe for Christmas, make up a Christmas list and hand it out to your friends and family. Otherwise, enjoy your socks and underwear.

By the way, this year, the Sportster is #23 between a DVD of “The Incredibles 2” and “Metal Detector”.

A blessed Merry Christmas and a happy & prosperous New Year to you all.

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