Dear Santa:

I’d like to have a word with you. Can I call you Kris? I feel like we’ve come far enough where that’s appropriate.

Kris, since the winter of ‘06 I’ve got nothing but radio silence from you. I must confess that it hurts. Even some coal would be a welcomed change. Each year I diligently hang my stocking, lay out milk and cookies and dutifully sign my name on the bottom of my younger sister’s letter. Is it the cookies? Did Mrs. Claus convince you to go gluten-free in this day-and-age of kale and juice-cleanses? Because I totally have a vegan recipe that would work, just let me know.

My point is, what can I do to get you back? When you were in my life, Christmas was a breeze. The presents flowed like moonshine during Prohibition, peppermints were in abundance and the carrots left out for the reindeer were actually eaten by them and not the neighborhood deer (fakes). Christmas absent of your visit is beginning to turn me into a bit of a Grinch. Each Christmas Eve, I watch Norad, the online Santa Tracker, and watch you fly straight through St. Louis without even pausing to stop at my place. The fire is dimmer, the ornaments twinkle less and the stockings seem to droop.

I get it. I’m 17, and therefore you may think I’m too old for this stuff. But, in the eyes of the law, I’m still a child. Nothing has to change now that I can see R-rated movies and be tried as an adult in a court of law. And, if anything, visit for the sake of my sister, she’s been missing you since 2012.

All I’m asking is for one final hurrah. We never even got to say a formal goodbye. I hope to wake on the 25th with an empty plate and a full stocking. Until then.

Sincerely,

A frustrated teen