AT RANDOM: Dear Santa…

I could use a raise at work, new wardrobe, something for my TV called a PVR, new TaylorMade driver for my golf bag...

Well, Mr. Claus, how are you? How is Mrs. Claus? Is she still trying to get you to watch your cholesterol? Will you be eating gluten-free cookies if left out for you this year? How’s Rudolph? And Olive? And the other reindeers? (See what I did there Santa? All of – Olive – the other reindeers? Get it?)

Santa, I can’t believe it’s your time of year again. Where did the last 11-and-a-half months go? It seems like only a little while ago I was asking you for good health for 2013 because it was the year I turned 50.

You obliged. I’m not as healthy as I could be, or should be, but I’m still above ground, breathing, and, for the most part, enjoying life. The Year of Turning 50 has been spectacular.

I guess you’ve heard by now, Santa, that an airline is trying to steal some of your thunder.

WestJet made this video where they asked people at the Toronto Airport checking in for a flight to Calgary what they wanted for Christmas.

Thanks to technology, WestJet elves in Calgary were alerted to the requests, then spent the next four hours shopping frantically and wrapping the gifts for the customers, who received their presents on the luggage carousel with their names attached as they waited for their own  suitcases.

Brilliant piece of marketing, hey, Santa? Do you think Air Canada can top that somehow?

If I was one of those people checking in on that WestJet flight (of course I have no idea why I would ever be in Toronto voluntarily), I would have said “New hockey goalie equipment for my son,” but I’m not good under pressure.

You, of course, don’t need marketing, Santa. You’ve been doing your thing for centuries. Everybody knows your name, everybody knows you only need one day to make millions of people smile, and you don’t have the luxury of being indoors when you fly.

Honestly, I don’t know how you can sit behind the nine reindeers for your travelling. What if one or Olive – I mean, all of – the reindeers has gas? How do you stand it?

You know what everybody wants for Christmas and you do the best you can to make wishes come true.

For the most part, Santa, I think I’ve been a good boy in the Year of Turning 50. I did jokingly ask my friends for gifts when I turned 50 in October and I did get spoiled.

I do apologize for what I said earlier about Toronto. I don’t know what it is about the self-proclaimed centre of the universe, but I seem to take great delight in making fun of the city and its denizens. Hope that keeps me on the nice list.

So, do I have a wish list for you Santa? Well, maybe a small one. I could use a raise at work, new wardrobe, something for my TV called a PVR, new TaylorMade driver for my golf bag, a date, two specials from The Colander restaurant in Trail, 2014 Grey Cup tickets, and, because I didn’t get it for my 50th birthday, a six-pack of Shock Top Belgian White beer.

But Santa, you know, because we talk about this every year, I have already received the greatest gift I could ever ask for. He came 56 days before Christmas in 1999.

It was then, and remains now, the best moment of my life. And all I ask every year is that he be healthy and happy, and that we get to spend more time together.

And, like every year, Santa, you always deliver.

Yours truly,


(PS… I’d really like the beer.)