Dear Sean

We have about a month until Christmas, and I’m asking people a simple question on Santa’s behalf. He actually asked me to do this.

Well actually, it was Santa’s secretary who called me ultra-long-distance to ask.

Or, if we’re getting super technical, it was his secretary’s assistant’s intern, Stacy, who called me. Santa has a lot of people on his payroll. But hey, he’s tax exempt so who cares? Stacy tells me the elves get great insurance, with full dental.

But anyway, the question Santa wants to know is: What do you want for Christmas?

There are no limits to how you answer. And nobody will judge you for what you want. Granted, if you ask for something like a 2020 Range Rover Evoque, forest green, with a sunroof, people might snicker at you and call you a shallow, narcissistic, self-important, gas-guzzling pig who is partly responsible for the perpetuation of American greed. But Santa won’t think that.

As it happens, a little boy (Brayden, age 8, Missouri) actually sent me his Christmas list. Which is what inspired the idea for this column. Along with Santa’s phone call, of course.

Brayden asked for:

—A swingset.
—Bluetooth earbuds.
—A real bunny.
—Red duck tap.
—Checkered Vans.
—6,000 dollars.

So now it’s your turn. Maybe you want something odd, such as a gift certificate to Golden Corral, or a coin-operated pony ride. Maybe you want a ski-resort vacation. A reverse mortgage. A pet alligator.

Maybe you are a kid who is being raised as a Primitive Freewill Fundamentalist against your will and your parents don’t believe in celebrating Christmas because it was originally a Pagan holiday and in your household your parents believe that Santa represents Satan.

If you live in a house like this, listen to me carefully: Your Christmas is probably going to suck. Send me a letter, pronto. I’ll get it to the Big Guy.

Whoever you are, you should definitely know upfront that you probably won’t get whatever you ask for. That’s just how Santa works. I know this from experience.

When I was a kid, every year I used to ask him for a silverbelly-colored Stetson cowboy hat.

Isn’t that stupid? I don’t know why I wanted it so badly. Especially when you consider all the horrors facing humanity like world hunger, Middle-Eastern land wars, and reality-TV singing contests.

But the year after my father passed away, I really wanted that dumb hat. Finally, my mother broke the bad news to me gently.

Mama explained that I would not get a cowboy hat because Santa couldn’t go around giving away pricey Stetsons made of genuine 10X beaver pelt to little boys. Santa wasn’t made of cash you know. He had a lot of elves to feed. And Mrs. Claus, who kept running up Santa’s credit cards with all those Botox injections, wasn’t making anything easier.

Even so, I could not get that hat out of my mind.

Years later, I was a grown man on a road trip through North Carolina for the holidays to visit family. I stopped at a gas station. Attached to the station was a Western-wear gift shop. And I saw The Hat.

It was illuminated by an unseen spotlight. I heard distant choirs singing. It was a silverbelly Stetson. The price was $250. It fit perfectly.

But I couldn’t bring myself to buy it. It was way too much money. So I put the hat down. I walked out the door. And to this day, several years later, I sort of wish I would have bought it.

It’s okay to want things. Expensive or cheap. Big or small. Seen or unseen. Maybe what you want for Christmas is more complicated than hats.

Maybe you have a 6-year-old son recovering in ICU, and you just want some good news before Christmas morning.

Maybe you have always wanted a Roy Rogers official guitar from the Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog, even though you are a 71-year-old man.

Maybe you want your whole family simply not to strangle each other this year.

Maybe you need a friend. Maybe you want to feel pretty for once in your life. Maybe you’d like not being stressed out for one day. Maybe you want to wake up to sunshine. Or to visit Costa Rica. Or Sheboygan.

Maybe you want a cute girl at work to notice you. Maybe you miss your son who is away at college. Maybe your mother or father passed away, and you want a sign from above to show you they’re proud of you.

Sometimes it feels good to simply tell someone what you want. So tell me. And I’ll tell Santa. No matter how strange, selfish, or bizarre your request. Christmas is coming. And even though we are strangers, we’re all in this together. Unless of course you’re a complete wacko. In which case, we’re related.

So leave a comment, email me, or send a handwritten letter c/o Santa’s Helper, 226 Hideaway Bay Drive, Miramar Beach, Florida, 32550.

Write a few sentences about why you want what you’re asking for. I will compile a list and maybe even mention your letter in a column. And I’ll do my best to get your words to the white-bearded man who can do something about them.

Please don’t misunderstand me, you probably won’t get what you ask for. But I can promise you this: I love you. And so do others. And well, the great thing about Santa is, you just never know.

I’ll start the ball rolling.

Santa, I wear a size 7 ⅜.

56 comments

  1. grantburris - November 24, 2019 6:48 am

    Sean, another good one. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas.

    Reply
  2. ANgel Alexander - November 24, 2019 7:22 am

    SEan. Thank you for being a unique, loving, quirky, smart, kind man. You brighten my days and I love you. Could you ask Santa to bring me my sister whenever she can come to visit with me and my brother too. And my friend DRolet and my daughters Elizabeth and Jennifer. I have a few friends but miss my family. Thank you. ANgel Alexander

    Reply
  3. Karen Greatrix - November 24, 2019 7:57 am

    We are blessed with healthy children and grandchildren and they are our biggest gifts but my husband really has his heart set on a new keyboard, so Santa if you can fit that in your sleigh it would make him really happy. A couple of chocolate bars would be nice too.
    Thank you Sean

    Reply
  4. Lita - November 24, 2019 8:00 am

    Have a wonderful Christmas, Sean with your dear family. I wish we all might find the courage to get through the difficult days, and peace of mind as we move into our last days. And that one day you get that hat.

    Reply
  5. Brenda Paragould, AR - November 24, 2019 9:31 am

    I bet you get lots of hats. If you get too many, I would like a Stetson also.

    Reply
  6. lisaweldon - November 24, 2019 11:04 am

    I wish Santa would bring me a little courage. I’ve spent 8 years writing my story but I’m so afraid of putting it out there.

    Reply
  7. John - November 24, 2019 11:35 am

    Dear Sean,
    My life is one for which I am very grateful. Most of the health, family boxes are checked. I would like Santa to put a person in my life who, way deep down, loves me just as I am. Not for any accomplishments, but just ME. Quirks included. Humor, politics, social issues, tastes, khaki pants, peanut butter in oatmeal, etc. That person sees through my defenses, excuses and loves me anyway. Just an intro please, Santa. I will do my part from there on and love them just the same way.

    Reply
  8. Robin - November 24, 2019 11:56 am

    My Christmas list would include a better job for my husband in the right place for us to live, to meet more good people/friends, for me to get a permanent handle on a health issue, that nothing hits us financially, to consciously learn from my human experience in this life before I go Home, and if there’s something I’m supposed to be doing yet, guide me.

    Reply
  9. Camille - November 24, 2019 12:01 pm

    When I saw your hat size, I thought of poor old Henry Bennett, the Jinx on Andy Griffith. There is always a life lesson on those shows, which is why I prefer Andy to any new programming. An entire town came together to make one sad man feel good about himself. Would you ask Santa to bring a hat full of tolerance and kindness to every American, size 7 3/8, of course?

    Reply
  10. Beth Ann Chiles - November 24, 2019 12:02 pm

    Dear Sean, As always your column was wonderful and inspiring and will be printed off and become one of my favorites of all time. Until I read the one you write tomorrow. Everyone has wishes and wants this time of year and when it all boils down to it I can not get one single idea in my head to give my husband. The only thing that I really want is to be able to have some more time with my mom. She is in a memory care unit in Ohio and with me in North Carolina it makes it difficult to see her as much as I want to. But that is not really something Santa can do, is it? So I keep sending her cards that she doesn’t understand and pictures of the family that she doesn’t remember and visit as often as I can. I know that deep down someplace she knows me and loves me still. Hope your Christmas is a blessed one, Sean. Thank you for blessing so many folks with your words and positive outlook on life.

    Reply
  11. Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - November 24, 2019 12:07 pm

    I have been sick for the last month and I want to be well and healthy before Christmas so I can do all I need to do for my family and friends.

    Reply
  12. TonJa Wilder - November 24, 2019 12:48 pm

    Dear Santa: What I want for Christmas is for Sean, Jamie, Thelma Lou and Otis Campbell to come for dinner at my house. I keep asking but they keep ignoring me. Do you have any influence?

    Reply
  13. Harriet - November 24, 2019 12:50 pm

    Hey Sean
    I definitely want the obnoxious Range Rover! Loved the column!

    Reply
  14. Jo Ann - November 24, 2019 1:10 pm

    Dear Santa via Sean. 2 things-blessings on Sean & his family (2-legged & 4-legged), & a woman friend. My husband-in -one-week-to-be is my best friend, but I would like a woman friend to talk to & do girl-stuff with. As we get older, it’s hard to meet or make friends, it seems. Thanks. Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful!

    Reply
  15. Phil S. - November 24, 2019 1:16 pm

    Another good one, Sean. You are flat on a roll (is that an oxymoron?). Anyway, I could not cogitate enough this morning to pull a Santa list out of this old brain, but I do have a word of warning for you. You have announced to your world of adoring fans your deepest earthly desire, so be careful what you wish for. Fedex and UPS might get really busy soon, delivering boxes to your home. Shoot, you even helped by giving your address to us all. You may soon have more hats than Hedda Hopper had, which may cause Jamie to hold North Florida’s biggest ever western wear yard sale. I would love to send you that big old Tom Mix/Hopalong Cassidy Stetson, but, alas, haven’t got $250 to spare. Anyway, saddle up, cowboy!

    Reply
  16. Julia Swaney - November 24, 2019 1:17 pm

    If your front porch gets flooded with cowboy hats, I want a photo 🤠
    Merry Christmas
    Julia from Broomfield CO

    Reply
  17. Sarah - November 24, 2019 1:19 pm

    Sean, I read your post on this Sunday morning with my 9 month old baby girl banging around on the floor in her playroom wearing her used santa pjs from a local thrift store. Our house is small, but warm. My husband is asleep in the other room. It’s Sunday and we live next door to a church my husband pastors. We live on a country road where the sun comes up over a pond across the street. There’s only one house we can see from our front porch. The fall colors are starting to disappear as the trees prepare for winter. There was a few years ago when I despaired that I would ever know this life like I have. I told myself it would never happen. I don’t want anything special this Christmas. Santa came early this year 🙂

    Reply
  18. Jerry Pulskamp - November 24, 2019 1:22 pm

    Sean, My wife and I will be staying in Seagrove Beach Jan. & Feb. We would like for you and Jamie to share a Coors with us (wine for Jamie). We’re migratory birds from Ohio, so you would have to put up with that. I promise we would not say y’all all the time, trying to fit in.

    Reply
  19. Kathy - November 24, 2019 1:31 pm

    Woke up bright & early at 6am. BUT I slept all night😁…Stepped into my closet to get my bathrobe & the entire close rack came off the wall & into the floor. Well, at least I had my bathrobe ☺️….
    The highpoint of my morning was my coffee & your article…Your articles always seem to put things in prospective….
    I don’t need anything for Christmas. I woke up to sunshine & believe it or not, this old Tennessee girl has been to Sheboygan!

    Hugs & Kisses

    Reply
  20. Jackye - November 24, 2019 1:35 pm

    I want my little dog to get better.

    Reply
  21. Susan Gregory - November 24, 2019 1:38 pm

    Funny how our Christmas lists change with our age. Things on my list can’t be bought….one more Thanksgiving day dinner cooked by my mom, one more ride around the block with my brother on his Harley. They will both in Heaven, gone way too soon. I want one more hug around my neck from my grandkids who’s mom, my estranged eldest daughter, thinks if I were a REAL Christian woman then I would be perfect and never make a mistake
    SO since I am not perfect she has decided it would be better not doe them to be around their grandmother who is a loving, intelligent hospice nurse who struggles with anxiety and depression.
    These are just a few things on my list… but I would settle for a pair of tickets to the Nutcracker since all the other things are impossible!!!
    Susan Gregory

    Reply
  22. Joanne Reilly - November 24, 2019 1:51 pm

    Dear Santa,
    My two sons live in California and we live in Florida.
    They work in the food industry which means they work the holidays…bonuses and tips are premium.
    I understand, they have big expenses living in SanFrancisco and no time off. We’d love to go there to spend a few days with them at Christmas and share a bit of holiday joy being with them. If you can find a way to give me a wish it would be that each son would have a nice quality queen size super comfy sleeper sofa with no middle bar or pokey springs so we or they had a good nights sleep while we visit.
    And a few other wishes like peace on earth and cheaper holiday flights if you’re up to it.
    Give my best to Mrs Claus and if she needs Botox that’s fine. I’ll try to save for the airfare instead. Oh, one more thing….
    Don’t forget Sean’s Stetson!!
    I still believe,
    Josie B

    Reply
  23. Alice Roose - November 24, 2019 1:53 pm

    I love you too Sean❤️

    Reply
  24. Meredith Smith - November 24, 2019 2:05 pm

    Dear Red Bearded Santa, I want my dads duffel bag from when he was in the navy. He’s still living, don’t get me wrong, but my parents told my sister and brother decades ago “just tell us what you want when we die so it is properly marked for each of you.” Now that might sound morbid but I guess it was meant for the small stuff. All I wanted was his duffel bag. It was marked with all the countries he visited, the years he went…I just thought it was a testament to his service.
    Then a few years ago it “disappeared.” My sister, her husband and their adult son (my nephew) were working in my parents summer cottage across the country from me and my parents homes and I got a call from my sister. Sister: “Did you want dads duffel bag?” Me: “Yes, I’ve wanted it for years.” Sister: “Oh, ok.” End of strange call. When my parents get to summer home later in the year, I am told by my mother that the duffel bag is missing. I tell her about the call and ask her to call my sister. I also speak with my sister. Response: I don’t know what you are talking about.”
    Since then, my sister won’t speak with me for an unknown reason and my mom can’t get her to speak about the missing duffel bag.
    It is a sad situation. Two grown women/sisters separated by a duffel bag. A duffel bag I’ll obviously never see.
    Merry Christmas. 🙁

    Reply
  25. Richda McNutt - November 24, 2019 2:18 pm

    My mother had Alzheimer’s the last eight years of her life, and had no idea who I was for several of those years. I wish for your Christmas that you would see recognition of you in her eyes for a little while – and that she would smile at that recognition.

    Reply
  26. Jackie - November 24, 2019 2:24 pm

    I want all the children to be safe from abuse and neglect, well fed and cared for. I want them to have a happy childhood free from all those molesters.

    Reply
  27. Patti Couger - November 24, 2019 2:29 pm

    Ship ALL politicians on a rocket ship to the far reaches of space, institute term limits and outlaw lobbyists.

    Reply
  28. Shelton A. - November 24, 2019 2:45 pm

    Yep, I vote with Patti above. But make sure the ship is real fast and can’t be turned around.

    Reply
  29. Karen - November 24, 2019 2:48 pm

    I want Christmas in my heart this year. I want everyone to experience Christmas in their hearts. I want all of the hard-hearted feelings to be replaced with love. Genuine love. Hold a baby. Watch Prancer. Sit by a fire. Drink some hot cocoa. Hold the person you love. Do something kind for someone in need.
    I was at the donut shop a couple of days ago, and the man in front of me paid for donuts for me and my grandson. He was gone when I found out. It made my day, because a stranger had been kind to me.
    Thank you for your daily writings of love and hope, Sean.

    Reply
  30. debbie wilson - November 24, 2019 2:54 pm

    I love that you shared your address. We live in Miramar Beach also. Maybe we will show up to share A Holiday Meal! Hehe!
    Please post when your band is scheduled to play in the area. Merry Christmas to You and Jamie!

    Reply
  31. Sabina - November 24, 2019 3:10 pm

    Dear Sean,
    This is not going to be one of those “warmth for all letters, and I am so blessed”- which I am- but. I am self centered.
    I diagnosed myself with roseacea yesterday and now I see that my nose is growing and reddening. Dear Santa, please make my nose not grow red and bulbous. Unless I would get to travel with Santa and give Rudolph a break.
    Thank you. I look forward to looking in the mirror tomorrow and seeing my nose.

    Reply
  32. Jeanne Butler - November 24, 2019 3:37 pm

    I would like a friend and for my son and granddaughter to love me again. That would be great for Christmas. Love you Sean

    Reply
  33. Peggy - November 24, 2019 3:41 pm

    When I was little I wanted a doll house. Really really wanted one. I got a toy service station. Granted it had a crank life. That was 70 years ago. Wish I had that service staton now. I’d take it to Antique Roadhouse.

    What I want now is to live in a world filled with civility, kindness, respect, tolerance.
    PS: I bought a hat exactly like you describe, brand new in the original box, at Goodwill for $15.00. Sold it to a friend to 25.00. Wish I’d known you wanted one.

    Reply
  34. Joe Patterson - November 24, 2019 4:05 pm

    Peace on earth and good will to men and women I also want you to keep writing and take care of yourself I lost LEWIS years ago and I don’t want to lose you .Merry Christmas

    Reply
  35. Dave Wilson - November 24, 2019 4:12 pm

    I need very little except to be somewhat like you, arise each morning and be thankful

    Reply
  36. Allison Cobb Gilmore - November 24, 2019 4:31 pm

    Lisa, I don’t know you and so I don’t know your story. But I’m thinking that you have a story that needs to be told and a story that will help empower others to move forward in their lives. Be bold and be a good steward of the story that you need to share. Do it for those who need to hear your story. So believe in yourself, be bold, lean back, take a deep breath, gather your courage, and tell your story.

    Reply
  37. Linda Moon - November 24, 2019 4:35 pm

    Tell Santa I want to continue reading Sean of the South posts and attending Live Events when I have an extra stone to throw. You start that ball for me, Sean. In the meantime, if I think of other things to ask for I’ll just find Santa (not Stacy nor his Secretary) and ask the Big Guy myself. I love you, you wonderful sans “complete” wacko! Maybe we ARE related, but only distantly, sans “complete”!!

    Reply
  38. Heidi - November 24, 2019 5:01 pm

    Please whisper in Santa’s ear that I’d like a lot more healthy years with my husband. I have a heart issue & it scares me sometimes. We will never have enough years together….and it’s been 38 so far.
    I have another selfish wish, kinda like yours and about the same cost, a pair of Duckfeet Faborg boots please, slate, size 39. Tell him they’re on sale right now if that helps. It’s a lot to ask for and honestly the first wish is really my “heart & soul” wish.
    Thanks so much and hope you don’t get too many hats!😂

    Reply
  39. Heidi - November 24, 2019 5:19 pm

    On second thought….forget about the boots. I don’t really “need” them and there are others that really DO need things. I have been so blessed in my life.
    Thanks Sean & Santa

    Reply
  40. Jess - November 24, 2019 5:24 pm

    Sean, no one should ask for an alligator for Christmas……..they are not pets. I had one when I was a young man and a baby alligator WILL bit the hand that feeds it. I know this for a fact.

    Reply
  41. Leigh Amiot - November 24, 2019 8:01 pm

    Hi Sean,

    I’d like a 1965 Chevy C10 pickup, red with step sides.
    I share a heartache with you, losing a father as a child. I was 11. This is what Daddy drove until he lost most of his eyesight due to juvenile diabetes, now referred to as Type I.

    In better times, I’d hear him rumbling up, chains clanking on the gate, and I’d run out to greet him, “Daddy!”
    I’m a grandmother now, and I see myself driving a truck like this until the Lord calls me home…right now an old Explorer does just fine.

    Thanks for asking!

    Merry Christmas to you, Jamie and the fur babies!

    Leigh in Valdosta, Georgia

    Reply
  42. Stephanie Godke - November 24, 2019 8:30 pm

    Last Christmas we only wanted to be finished adopting three siblings that my daughter and husband had fostered since birth. One toddler and his twin brother and sister. After a lengthy court battle we got that accomplished. This year they are getting a puppy and everyone is in potty training. So I’m just hoping everyone has great health and that Momma and Daddy have stamina, patience and the real Christmas spirit. Blessings to you and yours, Yaya

    Reply
  43. Terri - November 24, 2019 10:27 pm

    God bless you and your mother Beth.

    Reply
  44. Jon Dragonfly - November 25, 2019 12:06 am

    Dear Santa,

    I want a Red Ryder, Carbine Action, two hundred shot, Range Model Air Rifle with a special built-in Secret Compass in the stock and an Official Red Ryder Sundial and with Cloverleaf Sights.
    (I promise, I won’t shoot my eye out. I PROMISE.)

    Jon-Jon

    Reply
  45. Santa Parker - November 25, 2019 1:40 am

    Dear Sean!

    Take if from Santa, yeah I’m him, the big guy in red, the master of the Ho, the Jolly Man of the North Poll, that was a good story! I’m going to tell you a little secret, the best part of Christmas (really the best part of life) is not getting presents, it’s giving presents or giving of yourself to others. There is not greater joy that giving to someone or in helping someone. My wish, my Santa wish, is that people would give more and take less, spread a little piece and love. It’s pretty simple really.

    Sorry things didn’t work out with the hat when you were a boy, it just wasn’t in the cards that year. Hopefully you liked your other gifts. Keep up the good work.

    Ho, ho, ho!
    Santa

    Reply
  46. Susan I Gleadow - November 25, 2019 2:03 am

    I love this! I hope you get your hat. The next time I am in Rosemary Beach I hope I run into you.

    Reply
  47. Meredith Williams - November 25, 2019 2:27 am

    Sean I hope there is a hat under your tree! I am hoping for Santa to bring a new mattress. Ours kind of collapsed on my husbands side so he has been sleeping in the guest room. I miss him sleeping with me! Please tell Santa I’ve been good and just want a good mattress! Merry Christmas!! P.s. I know a mattress takes up a lot of space in the sleigh so if he wants to deliver it before or after Christmas that would be awesome too! ❤️

    Reply
  48. Shirley - November 25, 2019 2:51 am

    I want Sean to get a Stetson hat!

    Reply
  49. Carol Horton - November 25, 2019 3:54 am

    Lisa, there are people out there who need to hear your story. Do it for them! ❤ You can do it…I’ll be right here cheering you on!

    Reply
  50. Carol Horton - November 25, 2019 4:03 am

    I am so blessed to have so much love in my life. My wish is for everyone searching for some love and kindness to find someone who can offer it to them. After all, as my sister says, love is the only thing of value we really have to offer each other. That’s my wish. For every man, woman, and child to have someone in their life who loves them. Thank you for loving me. I love you, too!

    Reply
  51. Dru - November 25, 2019 4:56 am

    Sean, thanks for asking. Since my husband and I finally have held a grandchild in our arms (after 46+ years of marriage and two adult children), I need nothing. But . . . I agree with a couple of your friends about politicians, and I wish my brother could walk again, and I hope the box turtle in the garden survives winter and our aging retriever gets a few more good years, and . . . world peace. . . and homes for all lost people and animals . . . and Heaven.

    Reply
  52. Steve Winfield - November 25, 2019 6:30 am

    And Oscar to get over his diarrhea & Brittney & Aubrey to be nice to each other. The mice, crabs & cats to all be happy. For all homeless vets to find a safe comfortable place. For lonely people to find love, even a fraction as much as I have. Happy Thanksgiving & Merry Christmas to you & all your readers.
    Love, Steve.

    Reply
  53. mawmawclaus / Linda Ford - November 25, 2019 9:05 am

    I want to win the Powerball so I can start my own Nursing home and daycare! I want to be able to pay my CNA’S what they really deserve to make.

    Reply
  54. Ann - November 25, 2019 3:19 pm

    Thanks, Sean, because all most of us really want is to know that somebody cares.
    Merry Christmas.

    Reply
  55. Leanne Barber - November 26, 2019 11:03 pm

    All I want for Christmas is PEACE in this crazy world we are living in! Be KIND to everyone!

    Reply
  56. Anne Riemer, Groton, Massachusetts - November 27, 2019 2:01 pm

    I agree with Leanne above. When did we all care so very much about politics anyway? Sure it’s important but not more important than caring for one another. I feel so sorry for our country being one side upset with the other to the point where we can’t even have a civil conversation about issues of the day without getting all angry. We’ll never move forward as a country unless we’re united. I believe there’s a saying about this… united we stand, divided we fall. God help us! As my bumper sticker says, “peace y’all”.
    God bless you Sean and your wife and mother-in-law this Thanksgiving and Christmas. You really do bring hope and joy to so many of us.

    Reply

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