Scott Hollifield: Dear Santa, it's me again for the 52nd time

"Oh, no. What does he want now?"


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

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