Long time writer, first time caller

Well, hello stranger! It’s been a while. You don’t call, you don’t text, you don’t Skype…”

“I know. I’m sorry. I’ve just been really —”

“I think the last time we heard from you was the year you didn’t get the bike you wanted. You know we had to put you on the naughty list after what you did to your garage.”

The thing about talking with Mrs. Claus is, like most loving and maternal figures, she never forgets to bring up the moments when you disappointed both yourself and her.

“It was an accident,” I said.

“How many times had you been told not to play with matches, Carlos?”

“It wasn’t playing. It was a science experiment.”

“With your cousin’s G.I. Joe?”

“Anyway … how have you been?”

“I’m fine, love. Busy as you might imagine. We’re implementing a new tracking and delivery system that makes the one used by the NSA and Department of Homeland Security look amateurish.”

“As good as Amazon’s?”

“Don’t be silly, dear.”

“Uh-huh. And? How’s Santa? Is he there? Can I talk to him?”

“Nick? No, he’s at CrossFit again. You know how he is. Gets carried away with all the latest fads. First planking, then juicing then yoga. The man doesn’t have an original thought in his head. But I love him!”

(It’s a little known fact that Mrs. Claus is the brains behind the North Pole operation, handling requisition and production as well as day-to-day operations, and that Santa is just the pretty faced spokesperson.)

“And the elves?”

“They are doing well. They’ve diversified. In addition to enrichment production they’re also helping us find a new place for our headquarters.’

“You’re leaving the North Pole?”

“Climate change is very real, Carlos. No one’s safe.”

“You thought about Chula Vista?”

“Not really,” she chuckled. “They have a penchant for housing. And we don’t want to muddy up their search for a university.”

“So, Mrs. C, I know it’s been a while, but I was wondering if you got my letter.”

“Yes! It was so nice to get an actual letter. So many requests come via text and social media now. But your penmanship needs work, dear.”

“I know. So, about my —”

“You know we can’t do that. The most we can do to the naughties is give them a lump of coal. Flaming poo pies are a little extreme.”

“It’s just that there are so many people who want to rip the world apart so they can make a buck, abuse children for their own pleasure, discriminate against others because of skin color or religious preference.”

“I know, dear. But Santa and I are in the feel-good business. We focus on the positive.”

“I just feel really helpless.”

“But we forwarded your request on to Krampus & Grinch Co. Maybe they can help you.”

“Thanks, Mrs. C. Merry Christmas.”

“Happy holidays, Carlos.”