Dear Santa: My Letter for 2013

Dear Santa,

Greetings, good sir.  How goes life for you this past year?  I apologize for not being awake to say hello last Christmas.  With a one year old and another on the way, I was pretty beat by the time you made it to our house.  But thanks for visiting us last year.  I know the kids eventually will look forward to you coming to our house.  Right now they're in that state where they are confused that we're encouraging them to rip up the paper covering their gifts when the rest of the year they are forbidden from ripping up paper.  I'm sure you've seen it before, though, so I know you're not going to be surprised.

By the way, I apologize for the inconvenient entry into our apartment this year.  I had to wire our fireplace screen shut so that Leah would stop climbing into the fireplace and covering herself with residual ash and grime.  By now haven't you figured out quantum tunneling so you can just bypass the chimney altogether?  Maybe ask some of those scientists at CERN.  They can probably help you out.

I'm wondering, do you ever get email from spammers in Nigeria asking you for your bank account?  I'm sure you already have these people on the naughty list and have their email addresses on file.  Your surveillance system is better than the NSA, so I hear.  Speaking of that, maybe you can give some pointers to the NSA on how to ethically gather intelligence reports so that they get into less trouble.  I understand that there is a need to gather information to try and head off trouble before it begins, but I think some things are getting out of control.

Speaking of being out of control, this brings me to my first demand wish for the year: a brand new U.S. Congress full of people who have never served in office before.  I'm sure you've heard by now about the entire fiasco regarding the recent government shutdown that was initiated by congress.  In the end, they just wound up proving to me that they only have their next election in mind, not the actual solutions to anyone's problems.  I wound up working from home for sixteen days and was only two days away from having to take personal time and vacation in order to get paid and keep my health insurance.  Other contractors I work with weren't so lucky and spent a good month wondering how they were going to pay their bills or go to see family during the holidays.  Sure, the government wound up reimbursing both them and the civil servants, but that was after the fact when they realized that they goofed up royally.  Anyway, if you could spread some common sense among the voters this year, that would be much appreciated.  Any of the solutions I have come up with wind up sounding a lot like the end of the Tom Clancy novel "Debt of Honor."

Another thing I could probably use this year is a few months of good family health.  Ever since July, someone in my family has been either sick or injured at one point or another and it is starting to wear on my mental health.  My boy Sean suffered from a few seizures this past summer, but we are counting our blessings that he is doing well now.  My mother had a good health scare this past November after a surgery and we spent a good deal of time worrying and praying in her behalf.  Sarah injured her back badly once during the summer and I injured my back twice in the past six months.  Between all that, there have been colds, the flu, and ear infections between myself and my little family.  I'm just kind of sick of it all (pun intended).  So if you have some sort of panacea that you could slip into our stockings this year, I would appreciate it.

Work continues to go well, although I know we could use a few more customers.  We are doing well here at Johnson Space Center, but right now our work is limited solely to one team.  More contracts equals more stability for my job, despite the fact that it means more work.  I don't know if you have any inroads to anyone in the area here for visualization needs, but I hope we can get the word spread.

One thing I hope I can trouble you for is a little bit of scheduling magic for my extended family.  In a few months Sarah and I are going to go on a cruise with my parents, my brothers, and their wives.  Right now we're all on track to be able to go, but I know that last minute things might crop up.  If you can have some of your "special tactics" elves please work to ensure that everyone gets to go, I would much appreciate it.  This is probably the only time we will all get to go on a vacation like this together and I have been looking forward to it for quite some time.  Just to give you an idea, we started trying to plan it when I was a senior in high school, some thirteen years ago.  It's taken us over a decade to get it going, so I am hoping that everything goes smoothly.

I think we've got pretty much everything else covered for now.  I know little things will come up that will drive me nuts (like randomly illuminated "maintenance required" lights on the dashboard of the car), but we will handle them.  This year has been a little rough on me mentally and physically, but I'm apparently still standing.  Save some of your presents for those that really need a little more hope and cheer this holiday season.  I'm pretty well off in that regard.

I hope I see you this year, but if I'm asleep when you come this year, I hope you'll understand.  It's not easy wrestling two kiddies.  Plus, I'll probably be stuffed full of Indian food this year (Sarah and I have started a new tradition of going out to eat on Christmas Eve at a restaurant of non-Christian persuasion as to not inconvenience the owners).  Heaven knows I love my Indian food.

Take care, good luck on the flight, and watch out for predator drones.  I hear they are deadly.


-Brad Reynolds

P.S. If you have room in your sack, I actually wouldn't mind a 200 foot tall jaeger battle robot that I could use to fight any kaiju that I come across: