An Open Letter to Santa Claus

Hello Santa,

It’s nice to talk to you again–I send warm wishes from the United States capital. As I’m sure you already know, 2012 has been quite a difficult year, and I would like to start by saying it’s not my fault. Looking back on 2012, I know that there are things that have probably led you to believe that I deserve to be on the naughty list. Well, those things are lies. Lies on lies on lies. As I have come to understand, you live in the same house in Heaven with Jesus Christ, which I think is really cool and fun. You all probably talk all the time. Go Santa. But much like church and state, I believe there should be a separation between church and Christmas presents. When we blur that line between Santa and Jesus, things start getting complicated. With the whole Chick-fil-a debacle that happened earlier this year, I think it’s best if religion keeps to itself when it comes to figuring out who’s going to get the most boss presents this year.

After reviewing my timeline of life events, I understand that there could be some discrepancies on the table when it comes to my behavior this year. None of us are perfect, Santa, and that’s why I’m completely okay with how you could have possibly grossly misunderstood my “situations” this year. We get busy, and that’s just how it goes–details tend to fall through the cracks. Back in the good old days, all I had to do was brush my teeth and make my bed to keep things straight. Golly, have things changed. I have to balance a very adult lifestyle, and from what I’ve heard, you’ve replaced all those elves with Apple Store workers. You are no stranger to progressing with the times, and in that, you understand that sometimes, there are more difficult hurdles to cross than there used to be.
So, let me be frank with you for a second, Santa. I have my reasons, and just in case you saw it from the wrong side of the viewfinder, I want to give you some brief explanations on some of the highlights that may be lingering in your mind as you consider my behavioral status.

February 14, 2012—Valentine’s Day
From the way that you saw it, you probably saw me as quite the glutton that evening–tearing into an oven full of groceries cooked to a Southern standard that is hard to even comprehend.  I will even admit that at the end of that night, I felt a little sick to my tummy. But to recap, let’s go back and evaluate my very extensive involvement in Valentine’s Days-passed. Oh, you don’t remember any specific Valentine’s Day particulars, other than that one February 14 when I ate a heart shaped pizza with my ex-girlfriend? That’s because there haven’t been any, Santa. And yes, I’m sure that you’re quite aware that you are the popular girl of holiday entities, but the other holidays matter, too. So when my relationship was falling apart the very day before Valentine’s Day (which should have been identified before it started, but that’s neither here nor there), maybe I should have ended it there. But damn it, Santa. I deserved Valentine’s Day. So I went to the store and bought groceries. I skipped class, partially because I was in delusion and partially because I needed those goodies. I cooked all the food, and my then-lover, soulmate… dare I say… reason to breathe, barely even touched the plate. The last thing I remember hearing was something about homework, then there was no kiss, then I just remember sitting there shoving chicken breasts and mashed potatoes in my mouth. Yeah, it’s gluttonous. Okay, I was a mess, but in the spirit of healthy holiday competition, my desire to never waste food, and my ultimate allegiance to Christmas in the face of being duped by Valentine’s Day, I think we’re going to give this one to me.

Santa: 0, Justin: 1

May 5-19, 2012—Pre-Graduation Party
Oh, Santa. Let’s be honest. That was a rough weekend for everyone involved. We were being thrust from the life of a college student into whatever you call this new place we live. So you can imagine that the day got easier when I went and bought myself a box of Franzia, followed by a brief trip to the EZ Stop to pick up a couple of styrofoam cups. Deep into the night as classmates were insisting that I do a wine stand, a young man came and pulled me away. Immediately, I was thankful because I thought he was pulling me away from the wine stand because contrary to popular belief, I like to enjoy my low grade white wine slowly. But soon into the diversion, he pulled me into the bushes and offered me a shot of his vodka. After a couple of shots, he leaned in to kiss me. Immediately, I had the words of leviticus and Paul Ryan singing through my head, and I denied his advances. Close call, right? Then, in a violent growl he asked, Why?! What’s your problem? I explained that a) we were behind some thinly veiled bushes that everyone could see into. B) I wasn’t interested. C) I had… well, I’ll just tell the story. He said, No! You broke up my relationship. You know what, Santa? He was correct. I did do that. I made out with his girlfriend, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll keep this short and sweet–I was drinking tequila, and I didn’t know the specifics. I would never break up a home, and after that proclamation, I only really considered a follow up make-out once. As Miley once said, Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody has those days. Even you, Santa.

Oh yeah, I made sure the styrofoam cups were properly disposed of, away from animals.

Santa: 0, Justin: 2

August 9, 2012
I moved up to DC. I know… damn liberals. I’m not even going to fight you on this one.

Santa: 1, Justin: 2

August 17, 2012
I got those Barry Manilow tickets off of Craigslist, and I’m not going to lie… it was a steal. But considering that I had been in the DC area for a grand total of like… what? 7 days?… there was no way that I could ever understand the concept of city living. And I’ll admit, there were a lot of outstanding factors to do with the Barry Manilow concert night that could be construed as reason to put me on the Naughty List this year: let’s list them. (1) I got the tickets for free off Craigslist. In actuality, the old people had the tickets and wanted me to come along. Your logic is invalid, Santa. (2) I blew off people I already had plans with to go to it. In actuality, those girls often referred to me and my roommate as “the boys,” and if I’m right, you’d get annoyed by that too, Santa. (3) I didn’t pay my toll at the toll booth. In actuality, I had the money to pay… I just didn’t have said money in change. That’s also why I don’t think I got a ticket when I drove through that toll booth because there has to be a solid three minutes of video footage of me holding up traffic while desperately holding two dollar bills out the window. Everyone won in the end, Santa.

Santa: 1, Justin: 3

Every Other Thursday Since September, 2012
So I drink wine a bottle at a time. Yeah? Jealous? You can’t tell me that you and Mrs. Claus don’t pop open a nice bottle of spiced and/or buttered rum and sit back and get crunk every once in a while. But you know what you and I have in common, Santa? You don’t get behind that sleigh, and I don’t either. There’s nothing like some nice Grey’s Anatomy and some obscure hipster music to accompany a nice bottle of $3.99 Chardonnay from the 7-11 down the road. My roommates like to consider it alcoholism, but considering that when we drink, one roommate is feeling good after three beers and the other can kill a half bottle of raspberry rum, then I think maybe we are all birds of the same feather. If you’re looking for repercussions, I did have that terrible allergic reaction to Thai food while drinking the wine, so with that…

Final Score: Santa: 1, Justin: 4

And now, I’d like to include a short list/collage of things you can bring me. Considering that you have one point, you can take one of these off the list, but it cannot be the Macbook.

From Top Left, Clockwise: a lot of Frank’s hot sauce, that otter hat and/or
the child wearing it, a macbook, a pyramid of Franzia (Crisp White, please)

Thank you for your time, Santa. Tell Jesus that I said hello.

Best dishes and wishes from my kitchen to yours,
Justin Theodore Kirkland, Age 22 1/2



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