Parental screening for the teenage wish list

Dear Santa,

Thank you again, for honouring the many good people of our neighbourhood last year.   As the holiday season approaches, you may find you are short two letters from our household. It seems teenagers have figured out that snail-mail to the North Pole is a waste of time – an email to Mom and Dad is more expedient. With that said, dear Santa, as I forward their lists (attached) I felt it necessary to respectfully request that you never, ever deliver the following five items to our home on Christmas Eve. Please filter the boys’ requests accordingly. I’d hate to have to find a new home for any of the items below on Boxing Day. Particularly, number one.

  1. Any reptile

I will not need to justify this much further than to say I once had a university pal, who hooked up with a girl post-graduation who was of questionable sanity. You know, that post academia relationship that was free loving, bohemian, and helped him believe he wasn’t going to end up a corporate drone like the rest of us. And she owned an iguana.

Shortly after they shacked up, the old university gang all traipsed over to their new place in a funky part of town, for a winter’s evening of drinks and dinner. We were having cocktails, when something in the plant, positioned on a table behind the sofa on which I was seated, moved.   Actually, the entire area behind the three person sofa on which I was seated, moved. It turned out the iguana wasn’t a cute little “hold it in your hand” kind of reptile, but rather an “I’m the length of the sofa and could bite off your hand” kind of reptilian fellow. It was seven feet long, thicker than a watermelon in the middle and had a tongue that could, and did, touch me as I leapt over the hors d’oeuvres covered coffee table in front of me. No reptiles, Santa, ever, period. And if my youngest requests a Chinchilla, just apply your best judgment.

  1. Automobiles

Don’t laugh! If you give a 17 year-old a chance, he or she will ask for an automobile, and due to the intensive viewing of Suits on Netflix, will likely make a good case for owing one. As my firstborn stated it “Having my driver’s license is the biggest leap of freedom I’ve had since learning to walk.”   Eloquently said (thank you Suits writers), however having a license to drive and having the personal wheels to do so are two different scenarios. Despite the fact this would free me from unending carpooling to high school hockey tournaments in remote areas in what is loosely termed the “GTA”, and would likely mean that I could enter my own vehicle without having to experience the truly blessed aroma of hockey gear left in my car’s trunk overnight, a new Christmas vehicle comes with more than a bow. I had to be revived after a single phone call to my insurance agent, inquiring as to the cost of adding one 17 year-old driver to the insurance on our six year-old car. No automobiles unless in miniature form. Thanks for understanding Santa.

  1. Augmentation or plastic surgery

Luckily, I have two sons so this is less likely, I’m told, than in the households where teenaged girls live, but augmentation of any kind, not happening. I’d reconsider if, heaven forbid, there was a serious injury or deformity that caused a problem. Otherwise, elective surgeries are off the table, or in this case Christmas list.

  1. Beer or other alcoholic beverages

Any parent of teens knows what I’m talking about.   We all get it. They are old enough to vote, to be arrested as adults, but they are not old enough to purchase and consume alcohol. They will ask. Heck, given the number of friends and relatives with whom we exchange wine and spirits over the holiday season, who can blame them, for getting in the festive mood of gift exchanges, but I draw the line on scotch in the stocking on Christmas morning. Call me old fashioned. Thank you for respecting our wishes on this Santa.

  1. Violent video games

Santa, I’ve been a hypocrite on this one in the past, but my only excuse is that I really was ignorant to the fact that in that one game they bashed innocent people on the head, stole their expensive cars and drove around with their girlfriends, who were hookers.   With that said, I know there’s a new version coming out, and it involves even more violence and frankly, we don’t need it. They both play hockey; that’s enough smashing for one family. I don’t need the kids, even though they’re almost adults, thinking that game represents anyone’s real life. Let them dig mines, and battle historical figures, and race in F1 cars like normal video playing people. You can drop off those trash talking, smashing head thieves in someone else’s house this year.

I think that’s it. They have added to my banned items list, anything that involves undergarments, toiletries or kitchen appliances (for me), so consider yourself informed. The Rational One has also requested no more golf balls – we replaced three neighbours’ windows over the course of last year, and two were due to enthusiastic spring golf warm-ups in the back yard.

As always, wishing you a safe flight and best regards to the missus and the elves.


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