My Letter to Santa
Why shouldn’t adults get the chance to write to Santa Claus? We have wishes; we have dreams. Some of these aspirations are more complex than a new bike, it’s true, but at least some are more achievable than a pony. Here’s my ever-hopeful letter to Santa for Christmas 2022.
Dear Santa: Could you ask restaurants and cafes to reduce the noise level? They’re so full of hard surfaces and background music, I can no longer hear what’s being said. Only the other day, I went to lunch with an old school friend who’s just become President of Tanzania. Or maybe he’s become a resident of Tasmania. I can’t be sure.
Dear Santa: Could you reduce the number of products sold in packaging that is impossible to break into? For example, when I buy a pair of scissors, I discover I need another pair of scissors to free the first pair from its plastic fortress. If you already had scissors, why would you be buying a second pair?
Dear Santa: I’d like the loose-leaf tea to be placed on the middle shelf at the supermarket, where I can reach it, instead of on the bottom shelf. Sure, I can get down on one knee to retrieve a packet. The problem is I can’t get up again. Since loose leaf tea is only purchased by those of us of a certain age, can’t the youthful tea-bag people be the ones who do the bending and stretching to reach the bottom shelf?
Dear Santa: Can you use your influence to make paper towels mandatory in public restrooms? Everyone knows that hot-air hand dryers—also known as Electric Trouser Wetting Machines—don’t work. Their instructions should say, “Step 1: Hit Button; Step 2: Rotate hands in air-stream; Step 3: Give up and wipe your hands on your clothes as you leave the room.” Also, you can use the paper towel to open the door, in a Covid- safe manner.
Dear Santa: Can you ban the sale of pre-ripped jeans? If people want their jeans to look like they’ve been working in a field down on their hands and knees, I believe they should be forced to find a field in which they can work down on their hands and knees.
Dear Santa: Speaking of fashion, could clothing stores stock the same item for more than a couple of months? If I finally find a pair of pants that fit, or a shirt that doesn’t make me look like I’m six months pregnant, why can’t I go back half a year later and buy the same item, without being told “Sorry we don’t have that one anymore”?
Dear Santa: Can we limit the number of TV streaming services? All we want is to have the chance to see the show that our friends are all watching. Not long ago, this involved buying a TV set and twiddling the aerial until a picture formed. Sometimes you needed to get a child to hold the aerial to stop the horizontal lines. My point is that there were no ongoing costs. These days watching TV involves subscribing to an everincreasing number of streaming sites, with the only rule being that the show you want to see will be on the one service you lack.
Dear Santa: I realise every year brings a new food trend, but, in 2023, could we come up with something better than kale—something that actually tastes good? We did it in 2011, when the whole world discovered haloumi cheese. Surely we could do it again.
Dear Santa: Could we bring back colourful cars? A few years ago, it seemed, all vehicles suddenly became white. Or silver—which you could rename ‘Dusk’ since the cars are impossible to see except in full sunlight. Whatever happened to the canary yellow car? Or—more to the point— the snazzy MG sports car painted in British Racing Green? I know one will be difficult to fit into my stocking, but perhaps you’re willing to try.
Dear Santa: I’d like the human race to be given back its sense of humour, which appears to have gone missing at about the same time Twitter was invented. And while you are at it, Santa, could you encourage people to be more forgiving whenever they go online?
Dear Santa: Could we have less choice when we go shopping? Do top-loading and front-loading washing machines really require different formulations of laundry detergent? Do we need dog food offering specific concoctions according to the age, breed and personality type of the dog? And at what point did the purchase of milk become a way of expressing one’s deeper life journey: “Brad and I prefer homogenised yet organic milk, in a light-to-medium formulation, from cows that willingly agreed to the process of milking.”
There are people on dating apps who’ve chosen a new partner in less time than it now takes me to buy a bar of soap. Since you must fit everything onto a single sleigh, Santa, I nominate you as the perfect person to reform the system.