I can hardly believe it is time once again for the primary students at Peabody-Burns Elementary and me to write our Christmas wish lists. I have taken excellent care of the blue sweater The Youngest Daughter bought me two years ago, so the only thing I really want this year is world peace. I am pretty sure I am not the only person with that request, so I hope that you can find a way to accommodate us. I know you will try, Santa, and for that I thank you.
A big surprise for me was an announcement several weeks ago that the Northern Illinois University Huskies are going to the Orange Bowl! Do you remember when we lived in DeKalb and you brought presents to us there? I am hoping one of The Daughters will get me an NIU sweatshirt to wear the day of the game. I am not asking you to bring me one, I would just like for you to nudge one of them in the right direction, please. I think it would be grand to watch the game dressed in official gear. Thanks, Santa.
I am embarrassed to say that we had some creepy people break into the grocery store and the HUB Youth Center during the past year. I hope you still have that pile of coal at the North Pole for people who have made it onto the Really Naughty List. And I hope you will bring some lumps with you to drop in the yards of the thieves to identify them. If they never get caught, they will keep being rotten people and they will remain on the Really Naughty List for a very long time. Santa, I hope you can help us with this problem.
Please do what you can to grant the wishes of our men and women in uniform, the volunteers who fight our fires, get us to the hospital in an emergency, and give of themselves to work with our youth, our senior citizens, and those who are troubled or who need a hand. I know volunteers don’t ask for much, but since they are always there to give, it would be nice if there was something extra special for them. You know best what everyone wants so I will just ask that you leave them something that expresses our appreciation for all that they do.
I have asked for this before, Santa, but I believe we are going to need it again. I am asking for a boundless supply of patience. Not for myself, Santa, as we already know I can never make that stuff stick. This supply of patience is for the people in Marion County as our county commissioners, city mayors and councils, and school boards wrestle with budget issues this year. I have a feeling it is going to be a funding nightmare! Please help all the constituents understand our leaders are doing their best with meager funds they have. You might also find a way to remind any complainers that we, the people, are the ones who put these folks in office in the first place.
When you get your copy of the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin, be sure to read the letters from the preschool to third-grade students at PBES. I am pretty sure the youngsters have been good and would appreciate whatever you and the elves have made for them. It sounds like you and the reindeer will be having tasty treats at several Peabody and Burns stops. I bet you will enjoy what the children leave for you, Santa!
I usually try to steer you toward some children or families in need of an extra measure of love, laughter, and compassion as you travel on Christmas Eve. I am sure some of that is needed in our area just as it always is, but I wonder if you could perhaps save as much as you can for the people in a small town in Connecticut who are going to be having a most difficult holiday season. I think they could use all the extra love, laughter, and compassion your sleigh can carry. Thank you, Santa.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas and safe travel Christmas Eve!
— SUSAN MARSHALL