(1) Dear Body Shop Boutique ... Please reconfigure your store’s holiday displays into a much roomier, customer-friendly arrangement. Sorry I took out your entire Cranberry Joy Collection with my purse, but let’s consider the fact that I’m a 5’4″, 115-lb. (well, before Christmas anyway) small woman. The average male customer perusing your wares would’ve taken out a whole aisle.
(2) Dear Ice Cream Counter at the Mall ... Do you really think having a cake display on your counter called “Better than Sex” directly behind Santa’s village where every freakin’ kid stops for eggnog ice cream is a good idea? Because I don’t. And I promise I’m snagging the sign from your business next year.
(3) Dear Photo Processing Supplies Company … Can you please change whatever chemical you use on the surface of all photographic prints (specifically from Walgreen’s) to something less delicious to my cat? Every year, I spend entirely too much time strategizing my Christmas card display to ensure that all the low-hanging cards are free of photographs, so that they are not licked and bitten beyond recognition.
(4) Dear Tinsel Manufacturing Company … I am also suggesting that you, like the photo processing supplies company, change your product’s “recipe.” We had to give up on you years ago as Christmas tree tinsel is apparently a delicacy in the feline community. Our previous (diabetic) cat, Toby, always managed to sneak his share of tinsel from the tree which never much worried us until, one day, we saw him running wildly around the house being chased, it would appear, by his own feces. As it turned out, the tinsel had passed all the way through his system. One end stayed in him while the other lodged itself into his ball of waste. True story. Which I just took the time to write about and, worse, you just took the time to read.
(5) Dear Specialty Toy Stores … If you’re going to have adult games available on your shelves, please create a special section … if not a back room … for these items. My kids spent the entire afternoon cutting up about them (and, I think, quoting the boxes on a few hushed occasions). We had to leave your store so fast that we didn’t buy anything anyway. And I promise I would have. Every other damned store at the mall got some of my money that day.
(6) Dear Santa … Apparently, one of us should’ve gotten gifts for the caterpillar/butterfly habitat my daughter keeps on our porch these days. Way to drop the ball, jolly man. Said my girl, “Bubba Chubba and Kevin are sad that we forgot them.” (Yes, those are real names. One of them definitely lost the name lottery. I won’t say who.)
(7) To My Children’s Preschool Teachers of Yesteryear ... Thank you for introducing my kids and I to the art of reindeer food creation. I have come to love the annual tradition of making food to leave out for Santa’s fleet. The only recurring ingredient each year is raw oatmeal. Everything else is whatever I’ve got lots of … and am looking to get rid of … in the house. This year’s menu included some old parsley flakes and paprika as well as blue and pink face glitter (“to catch the light and help the reindeer find the food”) left over from my girl’s school play. It is the best way I’ve found to clean out my pantry and spice cabinet in years. Hmmm, I wonder if I could feed them stuffed animal spare parts next year. Those nappy little critters are taking over this house.
(8) Dear Manufacturer of the Shirt I wore on Christmas Eve … Please improve the quality of your zippers. When I tried the shirt on in the morning to select my evening attire, the zipper locked up on me, trapping me inside for the entirety of the day. And dressy black shirts do not really complement the sweat pants and unshowered mess that was the rest of me for all of my last minute holiday errands throughout the day.
(9) Dear Drugstore located Two Minutes from My House … You lost my business on Christmas Eve because of the annual “rock” concert you hold in your store each year. I know I sound like a Scrooge, but I needed to get in and out of your store in a hurry but everything was entirely too packed for me to even consider stopping in. So, the next closest drugstore got my business. And I spent $163.53. Just so you know.
(10) Dear Sanitation Department and Letter Carrier … Do you really care about political correctness on my girl’s homemade greeting cards to you each year? She seems to struggle to fit these lengthy titles in her festive holiday designs. Would ‘garbage men’ and ‘postman’ be acceptable next year? Also, did you like the candy canes/cookies?
(11) Dear Lady Next to Me at Church on Christmas Eve … Fishnet stockings?
(12) Dear Me … Remember that your kids are always listening … and somehow, apparently, reading. Which is why, when your boy asked about the mysterious gift tag on his dad’s present that read ‘To Dave, From ODNT, your girl said … without hesitation … “That stands for Old Dog New Tits.” You, dumb ass, now get the joy of explaining to her what ‘tits’ means and why she can’t use the word anymore. And then, you get to deal with what will undoubtedly be her implicit disapproval.