Santa - illustration by Dakota McFadzean

Bonus Column

Dear Santa, my hometown has the worst murder rate in the country. All I want for Christmas is for my neighbours to stop killing each other.

Mickey H., 11


Ho ho ho! Isn’t that a big wish from a little boy! Unfortunately, Santa isn’t set up to solve complex social problems — those can only be fixed by smart, well-funded and long-term public policies that address the root causes of crime such as poverty, inequality, racism, and the spiral of addiction, abuse and violence that passes hopelessness and anger from one generation to the next. If little Mickey truly wants a better world, little Mickey will need to convince his fellow citizens to support caring politicians with bold ideas rather than corporatist sociopaths who chant “tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.” In the meantime, how about some nice Legos? I’m talking about a big box of basic blocks, not that imagination-killing branded crap. Love, Santa.

Dear Santa, I would like a pet snake but my dad is scared of them. But I really want one. Can I have a snake?

Hailey M., 9

Ho ho ho! Snakes can be terrific pets but they’re not like dogs and cats. You’ll need to research their specialized needs: correct temperatures, substrates, secure, appropriately sized enclosures, that kind of thing. Hey, this could be a fun father-daughter activity! You two do the homework and you just might find a slithering surprise under your tree Christmas morning. IMPORTANT: don’t take it to Tim Horton’s on 22nd St. West. Love, Santa.

Dear Satan, I’m looking forward to the Antichrist’s reign of misery, horror and suffering but it never seems to arrive. Any way I can help get that rolling?

Elizabeth E., 17

Ho ho ho! Thanks for the letter, Elizabeth. Was there a typo? I’m not sure it was intended for me. Oh well, we’ll see what we can do. Merry Christmas! Love, Santa.