Dear Timmy (possibly now Timothy or just Tim),

Sorry for taking so long to reply to your Christmas letter from 1997. Your email was stuck in my spam folder. I know it’s been a while. But after so many years (and so many months in lockdown), I’ve finally had an opportunity to clear my mailbox.

I want to formally apologize for missing your letter and your gifts back in ‘97. There’s no real excuse for it other than the disorganized systems we had in place in the '90s. And the lax drinking on-the-job policies we had then. If I could point a finger, which I will, I would blame Microsoft. There’s no amount of Christmas magic that could help me understand Microsoft Outlook.

Now that’s out of the way, I thought I’d go through the wishes you asked for in ‘97. I will try my best to fulfill them for you, almost twenty-three years later, taking into account inflation.

A Nintendo 64

Wow, I remember those. We had over a million in stock until 2004, when the log shortage came and we had to burn their installation guides and the little booklets that came with the game cartridges. Our accountants, if I remember correctly, wrote the N64s off from our books, so who knows what happened to them?

I hear, however, PS5s are quite popular at the moment. So, to make up for not having the N64s in stock, I asked around and managed to find you a small brochure about them. You know, in case you want to buy yourself one.

A Pair of JNCO Jeans

Good news! I found a pair of these in our warehouse. Then I realized they were cut up and sewn together following the double denim outfits popularized by Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears in 2001. I made thousands of these. Unfortunately, no one wanted them, losing me millions and causing a mass elf firing.

No one really came out a winner from it. Maybe except the hundreds of Goodwills I donated them to, but they stopped accepting them after a while. I still have some available, but I’ll assume you don’t want a denim cowboy hat.

A Polaroid Camera

Now this is a gift. I got one in the early 90s and carried my Polaroid everywhere I went. I’ll admit, I used it so much it caused me to crash twice in ‘93 and once in ‘96. I should have learned the first two times. But I always left them in my footwell, where they would roll under the brakes and cause me to lose control of my sleigh. They’re quite dangerous for kids, if you think about it. Doesn’t matter, I’ll pretend adult Timmy asked me for one. That way I can comfortably admit I don’t have any in stock.

A Puppy

As an adult, I’m sure you can appreciate the pain lots of red tape can cause. And lots of red tape on a tightly wrapped box is exactly why there’s a lot of bureaucracy surrounding gifting pets these days.

I don’t want to get into the details of what happened in 2005, for legal reasons, but let’s just say I’m not allowed to give pets, specifically puppies, as gifts anymore. Rest assured, everything turned out well for—let’s name him Nuggets—in the end. Nuggets actually became a well-respected dog actor in several Christmas films, which I financially bankrolled. So it has a happy ending for everyone. Except for you.

But hey, look on the bright side, I’m sure you’ll make plenty of friends if you decide to buy a PS5.

Save My Parents’ Marriage

I’m assuming that this resolved itself, one way or another. But the puppy makes sense now. As Santa, there’s nothing I can really do to heal the love between two people. I wish I knew what to say with these types of things. But maybe you’re not looking for answers. Maybe you’ve made peace with your parents’ decision. Yeah, let’s go with that.

Anyway, I hope my letter brought you some joy. Or at least some closure.

If there’s anything else I could do, just remember, I’m technically dead to you—this was just a courtesy reply.

Enjoy the PS5 brochure. And Merry Christmas!

Santa (Ho, ho, ho!)