Dear Hammacher Schlemmer

Dear Hammacher Schlemmer:

We see you offer free shipping on all orders of $99 or more. We live in Ohio and are interested in item NU-12923, the 23 Acre Wild West Town Amusement park located in Illinois. Does the free shipping apply to this item? Our son-in-law’s parents live close to the park. As we would like to purchase this item for our grandchildren, we would hate for them to enjoy it while visiting their other grandparents who never give them such generous gifts.

Burt and Nina

Dear Tax Office,

I am writing to you today to ask you to reassess my property taxes because a neighbor’s activities have negatively impacted the value of my home. On October 1, he began decorating his home for Christmas. By the middle of November, he had strung enough lights on his property to guide a plane coming in for a landing.

My neighbor’s over-the-top celebration of a winter holiday preceded the falling of the leaves and has left me seasonally disoriented. I feel stressed about having fallen behind on my own holiday preparations even though I would never begin this early. As I cannot relax in my own home, I believe I am owed some financial compensation for the diminished value of my home. I am seeking a reduction in my fourth quarter taxes. Please advise me of an appropriate amount to send with my next tax bill.


Darnell Henderson

Dear Santa,

Do you have any sway over the passage of time? If you do, I could really use a few extra hours each week. But the bonus time would have to be our secret because if my family or my boss knew I had another free hour or two, I guarantee they would lay claim to my extra time. And the only thing worse than working 18 hours a day for everyone else would be working 20 hours a day for everyone else.

If you can’t do some magical time-elongation thing, I’d be happy with a pair of noise-canceling headphones.




To the powers that be at a certain news channel:

There are people on your channel who are telling parents that fostering their children’s belief in Santa is harmful to them as it will make it hard for the children to trust their parents when they learn Santa is a made-up character. I find this confusing both for me and for my children. They see Santa everywhere: at malls, on street corners, on TV. What should I tell them when the person in a Santa suit they see and whose lap they sit on is a figment of their imagination or a dangerous ruse they must not believe? As for my confusion, isn’t it a tad ironic that the people who raise an army each year to fight against an imagined war on Christmas are attacking parents who strive to make the holiday fun and engaging for their children?

Bah humbug!


Amherst, MA

Dear Mommy and Daddy,

In case you were wondering, I know Santa Claus is make-believe. It’s cute that you act like he exists, and it’s OK with me if you want to keep pretending. I like giving and getting presents and making cookies with you to leave out for Santa. But Daddy, remember that Mommy swatted your hand away from the cookies last year. She told you that if you eat too many, you’ll get a belly just like Santa’s. Maybe that would be a good thing. Then Santa really would exist. Just leave a few cookies for me.

Love, Annabelle

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