Dear Santa,

Sorry to be writing to you at the last minute like this. According to NORAD, you’re already halfway across Asia. Thank God for modern technology otherwise you might not be reading this at all.

(Speaking of modern tech, thanks for all of the nice comments you’ve made on my blog. I appreciate your readership, yo.)

So I know every year I write you a nice long letter with a laundry list of things that I want – if not for me, then for the world – for Christmas. But this year is kind of different. This year has been kind of a rough one, y’know?

Three people very close to me died pretty suddenly and unexpectedly, one right after another. I had pretty horrid nearly-yearlong relationship with a really nice girl, who just had one too many problems for me to handle and needed more help than I could give. I tried, though. You know I did. All the while I threw myself into my work and tried so hard to get our book published, only to fail miserably. And, then, I left behind everything and everyone I loved, in one city, to move back to my hometown, where the only people I really know anymore are the ones I’m directly related to.

Factor in my bipolar disorder and all of the depression that comes with mourning – three – lost loved ones and, no, I may not have handled the past year as well as I could have. You know me; I bottle shit up. I know you’re not supposed to, but that’s just how I deal. And sometimes that bottle gets a little too full, y’know? There were times when I blew up at some friends and completely lost touch with others. I would hope that they would understand the immense pressure and pain this past year has placed upon me, but I’m not sure they all do. That’s one of the pitfalls of always bottling shit up. Nobody really knows what’s in the bottle until it’s poured out.

But I’m going off of point. Point is, there were times when I may have been naughty, but I always tried my hardest to be nice, even when it was slowly killing me inside.

As for Christmas, there’s really nothing that I want from you this year, Santa. It doesn’t really feel like Christmas. Or maybe I just feel like I don’t deserve or have anything to be celebrating about this year. So feel free to skip my house. Because there’s only one thing I want for Christmas and it’s nothing that can fit in a stocking hung by the chimney with care.

If you still feel the need to give me something for Christmas, maybe you can talk to your friend Jesus for me. This is more of a “His area of expertise” kind of thing. Tell Him that I’m sorry I’m asking Him work on His birthday – God only knows how much I hate having to do that – but all I want for Christmas is to just be able to spend one more day with my Pop Pop.

He died so suddenly this year. I just one one more day to sit down and talk with him, ask him all of the questions about his life that I never got to ask, listen to all of his stories and advice that I never got to hear, eat one last Christmas meal together, to laugh and love and say a proper goodbye. I miss him so much. I just want to hug my Pop Pop one more time.

And I know my mom would appreciate it, too.

So there you go. All I want for Christmas is one more day with my Pop Pop.

If there’s anything you and your friend, Jesus, can do about that, a thousand thank yous. And, if not, I completely understand.

Safe travels, my friend, and I’ll write you again next year.

Frank Cvetkovic