Dear Santa:

My name is Barbara McWhite. I live in Florida, and I have been a very good girl all year long.

I know we are in a recession this year, but I still want some gifts.

First, let’s talk about how good I have been. I know you probably saw me in the mall that day I called out sick to work. But I can explain…. I was sick of working.

And if you talk to my husband, he might tell you that I used a few bad words this year. Well, not to be a tattle-tell — but so did he, and you would be angry, too, if Mrs. Clause ate the last piece of barbecue and put the covered dish back into the refrigerator. I was all ready with my bread, Santa. I was gonna slap that warm barbecue between that bread and make me a sandwich. I warmed it up in the microwave — the lovely aroma wafting. When I lifted the lid to discover there was nothing in it but sauce, the words just came tumbling out. I later said I was sorry.

I guess you know by now that I got drunk this year. Well, what…had…happened…was, I was at home and 50 years old and bored. I wanted to see what it felt like to be drunk. Santa, I hope you won’t hold it against me ’cause most folks have done it. I feel that I was punished already by the spinning room and the head over the toilet. I promise to never do that again.

I want to thank you for the white jeans you bought me last year. I really like them, but they may be shrinking because they don’t seem as roomy as they did when you gave them to me last year. I have also noticed that with the sweater. This Christmas, if you bring me clothes, please make them so they fit me all year.

I like the treadmill you gave me last year, but it is too big for my bedroom and I don’t have time to use it. If you want to take it back when you come, I’m ok with that. I will wipe all the dust off it before you get here, just in case. You can also take back that Wii fitness game. It is also kinda dusty.

Santa, I know we are in a recession, so I will ask you to bring me only things I NEED this year.

#1. Please bring me something to stop these hot flashes!!
#2. I need some weed killer that really works on dollar weeds
#3. I would like a device to prop my husband’s eyes open so no one can tell he’s sleeping in church.
#4. I could really use a laser-guided dog poop launcher, you know, for my neighborhood dog walkers.
#5. Please send me a houseplant that I can’t kill.

How are Mrs. Claus and Rudolph? I will leave some cookies and milk under the tree for you. I’ll see you soon.

Love, Barbara

PS: If the cookies and milk are missing, you should strongly suspect my husband.

D. Barbara McWhite grew up in York County, S.C., and now lives in Orange Park, Fla.

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