Dear Santa,

It’s me, Bob. I’ll save you the trouble of checking your list once, much less twice, and tell you I’ve been a little naughty and a little nice this year.

In that light, I am only asking for half of the things I’d like for Christmas. I’ll reluctantly give up my desire for a Chia Trump, an electric toothbrush and the Clapper. According to television ads, these are items no person should be without, but I am willing to forego them due to any naughtiness in which I engaged this year.

Meanwhile, I’ll be content to settle for a PlayStation 4 with Star Wars Battlefront, a Home Theater system and an all-paid weekend in Vegas. I’ve left you milk and cookies. Sincerely, Bob.

Seriously, what did my poor parents do in a previous life to deserve me as their kid during Christmastime? It was bad enough for them during sports season and dating season. Come the time when any normal kid asked for a football, basketball or golf clubs, what did I ask for? The book “The Complete Guide to Everyday Law” by Samuel Kling. Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” two-album set.

I went beyond the Unobtainable Toy. My requests were more in the realm of “Why on Earth would you ask for that, and where on the planet would I find it?”

But, I took Santa at his word of being able to get a child anything they wanted for Christmas. I never asked for anything expensive – the items were just … well … difficult to obtain.

For Mom, apparently nothing made her happier than to clean house, because one year she had a Hoover vacuum cleaner under the tree. “Happy Holiday! When you’re sucking up the kid’s cookie crumbs and mud brought in the house by the dog, think of me.”

Dad would invariably get cologne (Remember Hai Karate?), socks and neckties. I think there is a Father’s Union, and receiving those three items for every holiday is written in the by-laws.

And let’s take a moment to discuss Father Time’s role in Christmas shopping. I cannot remember the year I stopped asking for toys and started requesting socks, but I recall the feeling. It was as if a part of me died and went to Argyle Hell. Oh, well - at least my feet stay warm.

As for moi? I am the worst gift giver. Ever. Bought a Billy Big Mouth Bass for a friend, at full price, right before the bottom fell out of the “creepy gimmick” market. “How to Be A Complete Bit**, The Game” for my sister. It seemed like a fun idea at the time. Office supplies for various relatives and friends. Because, really, what says “Peace on Earth” better than a label maker?

So, let me try this again. Dear Santa, I’ve been as good as I could be this year, with occasional lapses. I don’t want anything this year, thank you. There are others more deserving and more in need than I. Please see they get the best the world has to offer them. But make sure to stop by for your milk and cookies – you’ll find them in the usual spot.

Merry Christmas,