Apologies for the lateness of my letter this year. I've been super jammed up at work lately - client meetings and Christmas potlucks and just your basic fire-putting-out left and right. Although I guess I don’t have to tell you about busy Decembers do I? Just freaking out on the elves or screaming into the phone with Taiwanese electronics manufacturers who are messing up your supply chain. "These crying babies will not poop themselves if I don't get 30,000 LC-202H's by fucking yesterday Mr. Hsu!" I've heard your stories.
I’m sorry to say that this letter is a little different than my previous communiques. No mere itemized list of my wants for the year, nor even a list of the reasons I feel I'm worthy of such treasures. I know my cloak of lies never fooled you for long, but I imagined that you got a kick out of reading it regardless. "Ho Ho Ho! Someone seems to have left out all that masturbating in the break room."
No, unfortunately I need to say something a little weightier this time. I guess I’m beating around the bush now, so I’ll cut right to the point:
I'm breaking up with you.
I know this is a shitty thing to do by letter. Especially after 30 years together. But I honestly never know when we're going to see each other next, with our work schedules and your travel. I guess I could have gone down to the mall to tell you all this in person. But that’s no place for a conversation like this. Imagine that! Parents and kids and the dork at the Orange Julius stand staring and gaping at us as we both broke down in tears. What a scene.
I don't want to give you the wrong idea. I’m not breaking up with you because of the repeated public allegations concerning your non-existence. I know how they hurt you, and they hurt me too. No, they sicken me. Every time someone tries to tell me you don't exist, I just feel awful and gross and sick. The last time someone said that to me, I was on the toilet basically
Also, I haven’t met someone else. I mean seriously, who else could do what you’ve done for me? Jesus? Oh he’s a good listener, sure. But try getting gifts from that guy. I know what you're going to say. "What about that Shamwow guy? He sends you stuff all the time!" Well yes, he does send me stuff after I send him letters. But I typically have to pay for it. "You sick fuck," I hear you screaming, but it's not like that Santa. That's just how telecommerce works. You're stuck in your ways, so maybe you won't understand.
If those are the reasons I'm not breaking up with you, then what are the reasons I am? First and foremost, I just don't think you care that much about me any more. Back when we were first starting out it was different. Magical. Glorious. You made me feel special Santa. When I wanted a Big Wheel, who was there giving me a Big Wheel? You were. Remember that? How I laughed and laughed and peed a bit? What a great day.
I had a rash of happiness. But lately? Well, let's recap my letter from Christmas 2008. As you'll recall, I requested:
A 4% raise.
A wind-up of military operations in Afghanistan.
And what did you get me? Cooking lessons? Continuing escalation in troop levels and little to no progress training the Afghani security forces? And a fucking CSI video game? How do you think I felt about that?
Eat my ass, Santa. That's how I felt about it.
And the cookie thing. Seriously, what the hell? Who said those were for you? I could maybe see it if I'd left them on the mantle, but I don't have a mantle. They were on the coffee table. And the dinner table. And the night stand. And a dozen other places. Besides, those weren't for you, I just didn't put them away before I went to bed. Why did you think they were for you? And don't just say "because you were drunk." That's not going to fly with me any more, Santa, and is a topic for a whole 'nother letter besides.
In terms of the logistics of this whole break-up, by the time you read this, all my stuff will be gone. I know that doesn't make any sense at all, because we don't actually live together. But I'd just feel more comfortable living someplace without all those memories attached. I'm going to move back in with my parents for awhile. They really don't understand this at all, but are supportive. You know how they felt about our relationship:
"You're too old for him."
"It's just not a healthy way to live."
"Son, I'm retired now. I don't have time for this any more."
I debated long and hard about whether to return all the gifts you gave me, before ultimately deciding against it. This was mostly for practical reasons - I honestly have no idea where most of them are anymore. And besides, what are you going to do with a bunch of used books and socks? Keep em in a box and bring them out every now and then to cry over them? Or give them to the next guy? Will you tell him what I did in those socks? Or will that stay locked up in your naughty list?
Finally, I hope that we can still stay friends. I know a lot of our mutual friends have stopped writing to you entirely, and I don't want you to start feeling isolated, especially from people in your own age group. Because you spend way too much time around kids Santa. Don't think I didn't notice your behavior after I told you about how I didn't feel ready for children yet (re: "Chris Bucholz Letter to Santa, Dec-2007." How since then you're always down at the mall with someone's kid on your knee? I'm not going to come right out and say it's weird to spend so much time around kids that aren't your own. Just don't let me see you on Dateline some day, 'k?
(I'm sorry about that. That was uncalled for. Not "going-to-delete-it" uncalled for, but close. I'm sorry. We can stay mature about this Santa.)
Goodbye, Santa. I will never stop believing in you.
- Chris Bucholz