Dear Santa,

First of all, I need to apologize for last year. I was the guy who took a couple of shots at your sleigh with my deer rifle. I was hoping to get my hands on a HDTV you were planning to deliver to a neighbor of mine. I hope you were able to replace the reindeer I accidentally hit.

And I hope you're not still angry about two years ago, when those friends of mine from the west side roughed you up a little. Anyone with half a brain should know that carrying that many expensive presents alone at night isn't a good idea.

We haven't always had a good relationship. It's still hard for me to forgive you for some of the things you've done to me in the past.

In 1971, as your records will no doubt show, I wrote you about a complete set of Topps baseball cards. You totally blew me off and gave me a copy of Children's Illustrated Bible Stories instead. That set of cards is now valued at more than $4,000, while the book of Bible stories is worth zilch. Thanks a lot.

In 1974, you failed to deliver the Evel Knievel rocket-cycle I wanted so badly. Instead, I got an inferior ripoff version of the toy.

In 1985, you gave me a lousy cheap sweater instead of the VCR I needed.

In 2001, you didn't even make an attempt to give me the Christina Aguilera RealDoll I wrote you several letters requesting. Instead, you gave me a CD I already had. Thanks again. I won't even tell you what I had to make do with as a substitute.

And I've spent about $100,000 on psychologists ever since I caught you kissing my mom in 1977. I saw and heard things that night that still haunt me.

You can see why I'm peeved at you. You haven't treated me very well over the years. But I think it's time for a fresh start.

A man in your position must get thousands of letters from people asking for some kind of favor. But please pay attention to me, because I promise not to do anything mean to you if you can deliver on even half of the things I need this year.

I'm through with writing pleading letters to you, because you never seem to get the message. I even went to the Greenwood Park Mall last year and delivered my letter to you in person. A lot of good it did me.

If I sound irritated, it's because we seem to have this love-hate relationship going on. I ask you every year for one specific present and it never arrives. Then I fly off the handle and end up trying to assassinate you. That's totally my fault; I'm not going to make any excuses. I hope you can forgive me.

So I'll make my request simple this year: round-trip airfare, hotel and tickets to all the World Cup games in South Africa, and maybe a per diem to cover food and amenities while I'm there. I certainly hope you can comply with this request; you may have to do some shopping around.

I'd also like that Batman video game and maybe a Reggie Wayne jersey. Blue, not white, please.

I promise to not try and kill you if you don't come through, if that helps you make your decision.

Tell you what. Forget about me; just grant some other Christmas wishes I have and we'll call it even.

Please deliver some new suits to Mayor Greg Ballard. Those polyester suits from Men's Wearhouse that he has are pretty embarrassing. I know you already have his measurements. Give him a couple of designer outfits and I'll be happy.

And see if you can give Gov. Mitch Daniels some of those shoe extensions that make you look taller. You know, the same kind that you gave Prince. He's pretty self-conscious about it and it would mean the world to him.

If it isn't too much of a big deal, see if you can bring an All-Star power forward and a reliable point guard to the Indiana Pacers. They're struggling and only you can help them.

Mainly, I just want you to deliver some happiness this year to the people I see walking around downtown every day. Times are tough. See if you can bring some food and clothes to the homeless people who congregate around Monument Circle.

I'd like it if you skipped the rich kids this year and delivered toys to families suffering financially. I've given donations to the United Way and Toys for Tots but you're in a better position to help.

Thank you, Santa. We've had a rocky past but I'm convinced that we can hit the reset button on our relationship this year.


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