I just finished baking some Ooey-Gooey Squares for you and I got fresh milk at Peabody Market today to be sure there is something available with which you can wash down the squares if you need to. They do come from my kitchen, after all, and I know that asking you to eat treats at my house is asking a great deal. However, I am trying to expand my culinary talents and I hope you enjoy them!
Thank you for all the wishes you made come true in 2012 for the boys and girls in Marion County. I am sure they were pleased to receive the gifts you left for them.
I am afraid my own list for you is going to include world peace and a blue sweater once again, Santa. The sweater I got three years ago from the Youngest Daughter is beginning to look a bit ragged around the edges and I think it might be time for a replacement. Since it took about 10 years to find one the first time around, I think I should get started now in hopes of being able to snuggle into a new blue sweater in the near future.
I know you have tried to round up world peace and pass it on to all of those hoping to receive it. Sometimes, Santa, I just don’t know what is wrong with us. Perhaps T-shirts scattered worldwide on Christmas Eve that say “Let’s talk” or “Compromise” or something like that would be helpful. Could you think about that?
Locally the County Road and Bridge Department has provided some of us with some great roads in various areas. We probably need a boost from you, Santa, to help us get the section of Remington Rd. to Pilsen in the kind of shape we will need as traffic increases to that Marion County community. As you may know, the Catholic Church is considering sainthood for Father Emil Kapaun, who is of the Pilsen community. Having an adequate road to get visitors and the faithful to Pilsen is of importance to the whole county.
I know asphalt, gravel, and culverts are probably not too common in the gift-giving department, but if there is extra room in your sleigh to bring the materials we need, we would sure appreciate it. (And just think how much fun it would be to have our county commissioners trying to explain to the taxpayers that all those supplies came in a sleigh on Christmas Eve instead of from a mill levy increase!)
Also, Santa, it seems most of our towns are experiencing a dearth of solid planning for economic development. I think if you could ratchet up the eco-devo pixie dust as you fly over our communities and sprinkle some really good development ideas into the mix, we might be able to come up with some positive plans to promote ourselves, attract some small businesses, and increase our county tax base. I know that stuff tends to weigh down your sleigh, Santa, but if you arrive in Marion County early in the evening, you could unload it quickly and we might even be able to hear you holler “ho-ho-ho.”
Santa, we have had some new young leaders step up to the plate in several communities during the past year and I can’t help but think you might have nudged them into offering their talents. I am thinking that each town needs more of them! Can you nudge a bit more as you fly over their rooftops and encourage them to volunteer in their children’s classrooms, at their churches, 4-H and Scout groups, and any other organizations whose purpose appeals to them? We really do need to have more young adults serving as volunteers in our communities and I am hoping that as a great volunteer yourself, you can inspire more of them to do good things in their communities.
Elsewhere in this newspaper are letters to you, Santa, from students in all of our Marion County schools. I think you will want to visit all of those children and I think you and the reindeer are going to have a great time snacking when you get to the middle of Kansas!
As you know some of our youngsters have a hard time (through no fault of their own) doing what needs to be done to make progress. Please, Santa, to the best of your ability, could you smooth the edges and erase the trials for these children? Could you replace their heartaches with love, security, laughter, and joy?
Thanks, Santa, you are the best. I hope you and Mrs. Claus, the elves, and reindeer all have a Merry Christmas!
— SUSAN MARSHALL