Dear Santa,

It’s me again with my 52nd annual holiday letter filled with hopes and dreams and wishes that I fully expect will be crushed beneath the cruel boot heel of reality.

It’s not your fault Santa. I set my expectations high. This time last year I said, “I hope politicians will finally look beyond petty differences, manufactured controversies and outright lies to do what is best for all Americans.”

Oh, well.

As I previously explained, the first few letters you received from me in the mid- to late-1960s were more or less press releases from my family because I had not yet developed the skills to express myself in written form, aside from writing my name in the snow. (Note: I did that again last week and I think my handwriting has improved.)

But after those early years, it was definitely me writing those letters to you at the North Pole where I know you read each one, never outsourcing them to cheap elf labor.

For old time’s sake, let’s take a look at a few of the highlights from over the years.

1970: “I have been a good boy. I want a dinosaur. I do not want a plastic dinosaur. I want a real dinosaur. Then I want the dinosaur to eat Billy like the dinosaur ate that guy in the movie ‘Valley of Gwangi’ because Billy threw a fish stick at me. Did I mention I have been a good boy? I did not write my name in the snow this year on account of the neighbors getting mad last year.”

1971: “I have been a pretty good boy. Thank you for the bike and the blocks and the army men last year, but I would like to point out one thing – no dinosaur. Maybe other boys and girls deserved a dinosaur to eat someone more than I did. But, if you can see your way clear, go ahead and pencil me in for a dinosaur this year. It’s doesn’t have to be a Tyrannosaurus, which I imagine are quite expensive. I will settle for a flying dinosaur-like Pteranodon, which can swoop down on the playground and snatch that little fish stick-throwing Billy right up out of his Keds and take him away. As I said, I have been pretty good, aside from another incident involving the neighbors I would just as well not go into at this time.”

1972: “Admittedly, I have made some mistakes this year. If anyone was offended by my behavior over the last 12 months, I offer my sincere apologies at this most special time right before Christmas when lists are being made and checked twice. I still believe in my heart that I am a good boy and I hope, Santa, you do as well as you prepare for your special journey. Thank you for the Hot Wheels, Close N Play record player and chemistry set last year, but again, I must note, there was no dinosaur. As my education has progressed, I now realize that an actual living, breathing dinosaur is a particularly tall order, even for such a celebrated supernatural figure as you. Still, I believe with a little Christmas magic and the progress being made in the burgeoning scientific field of cloning, you could whip up something approximate to a dinosaur, just as long as it can eat Billy.”

And here we are back at the present. Once again, Santa, I feel like I am a blessed man, not wanting for food or shelter or friends. There is no shiny item I desire. All I ask is that maybe you can help us be a little kinder to each other, a little more understanding and a little more compassionate.

If not, I will take the dinosaur you owe me.

Scott Hollifield is editor/GM of The McDowell News in Marion, N.C. and a humor columnist. Contact him at