Dear Santa,

Hi there! How’s it going up on the North Pole? Are you busting out the swimming suit yet with your glaciers melting? I am really sorry about that. I’ve cut back on my oil consumption dramatically this year and promise to be living as green as possible. Also, I voted out that moron whose policies have only made our environment that much worse. I am sorry, truly. I hope your vista doesn’t include views of oil rigs, thugs beating baby seals or polar bears floating alone on dismal icebergs.

Wow. I really just bummed you out, didn’t I? Let’s get back to the holiday spirit — shall we? What would you like me to bake for you this year? I was thinking ginger snaps. They are a family favorite. Or maybe you’d like some of that Portuguese Sweet Bread I’ve recently mastered? I’m giving loaves of this out as holiday gifts. (Don’t tell anyone.) I’ll be sure to leave carrots out for the reindeer. Too bad my little garden isn’t quite ready to produce the necessary produce. Next year. Maybe I’ll even can a few for you to take back to the Mrs.

So, Santa, let me cut to the chase. The economy is rather cranky and my family has decided in lieu of junk we really don’t need, we are going to keep our holiday gifts to a meager $25 and put anything additional toward charity. I’ve got my mom, dad and brother covered easily. My little extra is going toward UMOM in Phoenix and to help keep food banks going in Arizona and Texas.

I do have a few wishes — most of which fall under the $25 limit. If you can squeeze these into the sleigh, I’d appreciate it. I promise I’ve been mostly good, if you over look my republican bashing and complete and total jealousy of Jolie-Pitt clan. I’d love a family that diverse, and who are we kidding — even with the goofy mustache Mr. Pitt is dreamy. (Although I’m seriously starting to think he and Clooney have a bet going for who can wear a mustache longer. Fellas, neither of you are winning. I promise.)

Other than a slice of Brad and world peace, here’s what I’d like:

– Uniball Vision Needle Micro pens. Several, not necessarily a full box.

Envelopes. I always seem to run out of pretty envelopes. I need a variety of sizes too. You know how much I love to send letters.

– Books. I’d love a copy of Seams to Me (Santa heard me! Thank you Flo!) and certainly some Bittman to spice up the kitchen. There are about three dozen others too, if you have the room. I nearly doubled my goal this year of reading 40 books, so I promise they won’t go to waste. I also promise to pass them on when I’m done.

– Chairs. I don’t have enough for community dinners. People have to rotate and sit on the floor and while it definitely keeps things humble and homey, it also leaves me embarrassed. Nothing fancy, but two or three more of these to match the one I have would be really great.

New plates. I know, simple white. But I read in one of my cooking magazines how food appears more enticing on white plates and I think there is something to that.

– And if you decide to go crazy, these shoes have been calling my name. I think I may actually buy a pair pre-holidays, so maybe you should save your elves to work on this instead. Also, you really can’t go wrong with Athleta. One day, when I’m a published author and all my charities are well-funded and my entire family is out of debt and happily doing well, my closet will be filled with these beautiful clothes.

Thanks again Santa for all of your goodwill. If you want to ditch all of my materialistic desires for extra space for others, I’m okay with that too. Just make it food for Zimbabwe, jackets for kids in North Korea or a burkha for Paris Hilton. Thanks Big Guy!