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OPINION: Bill Walton, Dear Santa – 2017

Frosty was seen near Balsam Creek this summer but is now back at the Pole handling Letters
20171203 frosty walton

Dear Santa – I am getting my Christmas wish list off early this year because I’m not sure if you have local delivery anymore. Canada Post was trying to stop many home-deliveries and I am not sure if the old Postal Code of H0H 0H0 still works. Maybe you have to walk down to the box at the Pole now. Some of the old-timers at the Post Office may see my envelope and know what to do with it. I see the younger postal carriers checking their cell phones as they walk so I likely should have looked for a Santa Mail application, but I’m trying to avoid the cell phone syndrome.

There are a number of things on my list this year, but I want you to know that some of them are to be re-gifted immediately. I would like a copy of the City Hall Financial Handbook (as Revised). I tried to get it on the internet but much of it was redacted, so please have your elves check that I get the complete version. I want to give this to Don over at the Taxpayers Association office, as he seems to have problems understanding just how they balance things out downtown. I think this will make him quite happy and maybe even put a smile on his face. Better make that 2 copies as there is now another feller in town who enjoys looking at City Hall numbers.

I am certain that your printing department has compiled a copy of all the Apology Speeches that Justin has given this year and I think it would be neat to pass this along to a number of other world leaders. I expect that fellow Trump is on your ‘Naughty’ list so if you can leave a copy with me I’ll send it along to 1600 Pennsylvania. If you want to enclose a lump of coal, I can forward that too. On second thought, he’s all for burning more coal so you had best make that a potato.

You and Mrs Claus are likely quite aware of this next problem (because of your age), but there are a lot of folks in my area that need a place to live in their old age. The number of beds in the different Homes and even the Hospitals is away below what we need for these people. I don’t have to remind you that these are the kids who wrote to you 60 or 70 years ago – some of them even left out treats for you and your reindeer. Maybe you can persuade the politicians and finance people to do something – sort of like what Dickens did to Scrooge that Christmas long ago. If we could just get back all the money we wasted or misspent we could likely solve this ourselves but that’s not going to happen.

I think we have your namesake ‘Santa Fund’ pretty well covered in our town but I heard that the Sally Ann could use a little topping up in their kettles. Maybe you could have a couple of your elves sprinkle a little Christmas Spirit dust around their volunteers to warm the hearts of passersby. That’s the kind of thing I can’t re-gift but you were right about me trying to smile more while Christmas shopping as it seemed to work, if not on the clerks, on the other shoppers.

Oh, and I had this on the bottom of my list but am moving it up: it’s for you and the Mrs. I know that it must rankle you a little about all the commercialism at Christmas but there is another side to that – you’ve probably noticed.  Your holiday of goodwill has spread out to encircle many more people, many who are not of the Christian faith; although I think your roots go back to celebrating the winter solstice in any case. Some like me, profess no religion, however we all like the idea of giving and sharing at this time of year. So I wish you and your staff all the happiness you bring to us.

I am hoping you can do something about the summer weather in 2018. I know, we’ve probably screwed the environment up so much that you cannot make any adjustments. Last year was terrible riding weather for me and my motorcycling friends. Could you try? A little more sunshine? The gardeners and golfers in our area will appreciate it too. And think how the kids at the Splash Pad will enjoy the warm sunshine – maybe I should have added that Splash Pad to last year’s list but I thought surely the City Fathers and Mother would have looked after that on their own.

I remember in my childhood adding a P.S. to my letters, asking for World Peace or to Feed the Hungry Children. Over the years I came to realize that we had to look after those things by ourselves, not rely on your good intentions at Christmas time. However, now I am returning to wishing for peace and goodwill – maybe if more of us did that the power of our wishes might influence others. Stranger things have happened.

Anyway, I wish you and your reindeer a safe trip this Christmas. We are trying to get the drinkers off the roads and byways but it’s a tough job. Heaven only knows what it will be like next year when the pot-smokers are out on Christmas Eve.

Oh, and here’s my P.S. this year: Please bring a little extra happiness to ‘My Ladies’ on the Warriors of Hope –they are very special people. And thank Mrs Claus for ‘back-ordering’ that black and red speedo last Christmas: my wife and yours were right – the Warriors really did not want to see me paddling in it.


Billy Walton