Dear Donald,

Merry Christmas. Permit me to introduce myself. I am Tommy Tinsel, Chief Secretary to Mr. Santa Claus. As you know, Santa receives letters from trillions of children from all over the world, and each one is important to Santa, especially in these terrible times. Santa is so happy to see your annual letter, or “tweet” as you so cleverly now call it, and he wants to thank you for getting him off the CIA’s “No Fly List.” That was scary.

As I’m sure you are aware, times have changed dramatically since the first time you sat on Santa’s lap.

We all remember your sweet letter of 1960. Oh, my! It was special, even though you wrote it in black marker pen. Most children at that age, especially a young, teenage private in a military academy, have stopped believing in Santa. But then you were always an unusual child.

Here at the North Pole, times have changed since we first started making toys back in my great-great-great-great-great grandmother’s day.

These days things have escalated at great speed. This year, since we have merged with your friend Mister Bezos and his Amazon service, we’ve had to realign our production line and computerize everything. We’re grateful to Mr.Bezos for sending us some of his big drones to help us.

Some bad news: Santa regrets he is unable to join you in Florida for golf in this busy season, and that we can no longer deliver your gifts to the Trump Tower. Last year, all those men with big guns on the roof frightened the reindeer. I’m sure you understand.

I see by your letter that you’re still writing in black marker on the back of KFC Happy Meals menus. (Be aware that marker pens smear.)

We’re happy to note that your handwriting is improving. But remember, Donald. It’s December, not “Dasembur.”

As to the list, I see that you’ve asked for the very popular “Don’t Step In It” game. Well, that seems to be everyone’s choice in Washington this year.

“Don’t Step In It-Unicorn edition” lets blindfolded players make their way around the game board, trying not to step in unicorn poop. Isn’t that fun? Sixteen copies have been sent to your West Wing already. All names redacted of course. Done.

Let’s see. You’ve asked for thirty-five copies of “Google Eyes,” the family game of wacky vision, for members of your cabinet. The original instructions say, “Simply put on some vision-altering goggles, start drawing, and have your team try to guess what exactly it is that you are drawing.”

Your General Kelly suggested a different version that instructs: “Put on the goggles and start talking, and then have your team try to guess what it is that you’re saying.” I wrote the General that the change is not permissible, but he has yet to reply.

I see that you’ve shown interest in Harry Potter games this year, Mr. President, especially the “Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Game” that is described thusly: “Defend the world from all evil forces. Have a blast gaining influence, master the most powerful spells, discover magical items, recruit allies, and more!”

Also, two boxes of “Squishy” stress relief balls in all three colors are on their way. Done.

We’re thrilled to be able to send you your copy of Karleen Tauszik’s “When I Grown Up I Want To Be…,” which claims to be “For the kiddos with their eyes on the future! Children can record their special talents, achievements, preferences and passions throughout the years.” Done.

We’re very sad to tell you that a full Star Wars Interactech Imperial Stormtrooper Action costume in your required XXXL size is not available.

Mr. President, I know I’m not supposed to reveal orders for gifts from unnamed members of your cabinet, but as I have always been one of your most ardent supporters, I should warn you that two dozen boxes of “Despicable Me 3 Talking Jail Time Tom Minion dolls” have been ordered by someone in the West Wing.

As always, it’s been a pleasure reading your letters.

On the QT: Just between old friends, Donald. If the position of Chief of Staff is still open, I will be available for that or any cabinet position in your administration after Christmas. Make Christmas Great Again.


J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.

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