Santa, I wasn't always nice to my brother Ralph. That's entirely understandable, but unacceptable for a decent human being. I mean, you're supposed to treat your brother - literally and figuratively - with respect, right? Even if that brother has spent every waking moment trying to make you miserable. You're supposed to set aside the insults and the sarcasm and respond with loving forgiveness, right?
Sorry, Santa, but I might have to keep working on that one.
I forget to water my dancing philodendron and because of that two of her leaves turned brown and fell off. She was horribly traumatized by the experience, so much so that she stopped dancing altogether. And just when she was about to try the rhumba. Forgive me, Santa.
I laughed at my mother when she told me she made her own toothpaste for her cat, who also had gingivitis. I laughed when she told me she melted peppermint candy and mixed it with baking soda and peroxide to make it taste good. I'm very sorry I laughed like that. I couldn't stop. It wasn't nice.
I didn't get my friend's dog Boz anything for Christmas. Boz is part Rottweiler and part black Lab and he's overweight and having hormonal problems, Santa. I know what it's like to have screwed up hormones. He really needed a lift, and I let him down. I was afraid a fresh meaty bone might push him over the 150-pound mark. I should have thought less of his weight and more of his feelings. Please forgive me for that.
I guess maybe the worst thing I did this year was forget my nephews' birthdays until after they were over. I hope you'll forgive me. I hope Michael and Chris forgive me. I have trouble remembering my own birthday. It's just one of those things I do - forget birthdays.
Santa, when you visit their house, could you leave them a little note telling them how much I love them? They're each so unique and so wonderful. Could you maybe tell them that for me? Thanks.
I didn't write back to all the readers who sent me cards and letters. I hope you'll forgive me for that, Santa. I'm sort of lousy at writing. I guess it's because I do so much of it at work. Could you tell all my readers they bring me great joy when they share themselves with me?
Santa, I sure hope you do visit. I hope I haven't been so bad you fly right by my house.
Like my friend's 4-year-old son said, "Christmas is my favorite time of day."
It's not that I want you to bring me presents, Santa. I've got everything I need. What I really want is a dash of the Christmas spirit. A sprinkling of joy and love and peace.
That's all I want - a little of each.
They won't take up too much room in your sleigh.
Hope you like pistachios.
Terry Talbert is a Herald-Mail staff writer.