Dear Santa,

I’m begging you to help me. I need a little of your Christmas magic this season. Ever since I asked for a gift card as my Christmas present, my family has disowned me. Can you get me re-invited to our Christmas celebration, but also ensure all my presents magically turn to gift cards that don’t expire?

We used to be the best holiday family in modern society. Our coordinated family Christmas sing-a-longs earned us a slot on the Ellen show to carol three years in a row in front of an audience of reindeer. Michael Buble personally invited us to his vacation home for Christmas dinner. Our matching stocking set made us famous on Pinterest, and we even wrote a holiday sugar cookie cookbook with Martha Stewart, set to release in 2020.

We used to embody the spirit of Christmas. Together we were like the Hallmark Channel, minus the homophobia. Yet that all changed the instant I asked my family for a gift card as my Christmas present during our nightly family FaceTime.

“That’s lame!” they replied, in unison.

“Who are you, Scrooge?” they asked.

“Why can’t you ask for something that you don’t need and don’t like? After all, that’s the essence of gift-giving!”

I didn’t know what to say. I tried to explain that a gift card would be more useful, it would help me out during a tight time of year. Nothing worked. My parents began crying and ripping down holiday lights and their charming Christmas village display during the call.

The next day, my mom mailed me back my matching holiday pajama set, with a note, “Don’t bother wearing our family Christmas pajamas unless you ask for something fun, like a coffee mug from Target that you can’t microwave or put in the dishwasher, or a top-seller book from a retired politician that you’ll regift to an acquaintance next year.”

I tried to tell them that I don’t need another Michelle Obama book, or a patterned scarf, or a throw blanket that won’t cover my feet in bed. Hell, I even compromised and asked for socks, or money toward rent, but they wouldn’t budge. It only seemed to make them angrier.

I’m growing desperate, Santa. I need a generic gift card, far more than I need another Bath & Body Works gingerbread scented hand sanitizer set. But I also need to be invited to my family’s Christmas if I want my name attached to our cookbook. I need those royalties, Santa.

Can’t you cast a spell to turn their present into gift cards? I mean, you’re magic, right? I have to believe there’s no way you’re delivering gifts via sled in a timely manner, without a little magical cheating involved. You should be able to turn the Mindy Kaling book I’ve been gifted twelve times in the past five years (and safely assume I’ll get again this Christmas), into a Visa gift card without my family noticing.

Then I can faux-pologize to my parents and get back on the invite list, without sacrificing a thing!

I don’t ask for much, Santa, but I need this favor. I need to be re-invited to my family’s celebration, I need their gifts to magically become gift cards, and I need to profit off our holiday cookbook. And I need you to never speak a word of this. Also if you could push Christmas back a few days, I’d appreciate it. I’m behind on my holiday shopping. That’s not too much to ask, right?

Sincerely,

Desperate for Useful Holiday Gifts

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