I have been a very good boy this year.
"Good" is a pretty subjective term, isn't it? "Good" compared to what? Who decides what "good" is, anyway? And by what authority?
The same goes for "very." That word could be interpreted as either "exceedingly" or "precisely," neither of which applies in this situation.
Let's just say that, in my unbiased opinion, I have been moderately not-naughty. I humbly suggest that you ignore the judgments of certain others who might not be as even-handed and impartial as me regarding my behavior during the past 12 months.
Which reminds me, how is your wife, Mrs. Claus? I hope she's doing well, although not the sort of "well" that involves digging in the ground for the purpose of obtaining water. The "well" I wish for your esteemed spouse has to do with "in good health" and "highly satisfactory." Nothing makes a man jollier than having a healthy wife who is highly satisfactory! But I suppose having the type of well that involves oil production might also be a source of immense jollification.
And how are your reindeer? I ran into a couple of them - specifically, Dancer and Blitzen - at the mall a few weeks ago. Dancer chatted amiably, but Blitzen, being younger and somewhat unversed in social graces, was too busy texting to even acknowledge my presence. The only words that came from Blitzen was at the end of our chat when he muttered, "Dude, we're gonna be late for the stag party!"
Come to think of it, that incident is a prime example of the non-naughty behavior I have been so assiduously practicing. Dancer and I go way back, and I'm certain I could have finagled an invite to that stag party. But did I? Did I even make the attempt? Nope! I think the fact that it didn't occur to me to do so until this very moment diminishes my non-naughtiness not one whit.
There's no more avoiding it, so let us now address the delicate topic of my wife.
As you well know, my wife is the chief observer of my behavior and your top informant regarding the same. I believe it would behoove me at this juncture to offer a few explanations.
Take an incident that happened recently. My wife was sitting in our living room and was deeply engrossed in a novel when I decided to show her the Halloween mask I had just purchased for cheap.
Her version of the incident is that I "snuck into the room" in order to "scare the bejeebers" out of her. Nothing could be further from the truth! It was by mere coincidence that I had removed my shoes and thus approached her in virtual silence. And who wouldn't be eager to share such a deeply horrific yet highly economical werewolf mask?
No doubt my wife emailed you news of this incident at the first opportunity. But as I explained, my motives were totally innocent; and besides, I have already been punished with a vigorous book swat. I'm everlastingly grateful that the tome was soft cover.
Another episode that doubtless warranted reportage occurred during our visit to a large and unfamiliar city. I was driving and my wife began to opine that we were hopelessly lost. I replied that we were not lost. We simply didn't know where we were.
She didn't see the distinction and demanded that we immediately return to the familiar environs of the freeway. She also remarked that the neighborhood we were traversing was giving her the heebie-jeebies.
I pointed out that a few dozen rundown buildings and gatherings of grungy guys around barrel fires does not a creepy neighborhood make. And who among us doesn't have a burnt-out, bullet-riddled car sitting on their front lawn? Besides, judging by the way they were so intently staring at us, we seemed to be providing denizens of the district no small amount of amusement.
We eventually wended our way back to the main highway, but not before my wife had crawled into the back seat, covered herself with a blanket and commenced to whimpering softly. She said very little to me for the remainder of the journey, but my hunch is that the day's events were put into a missive that found its way to your desk.
There are probably innumerable other incidents, many of which probably pertain to the toilet seat. But I hope that you can see that when viewed in the proper perspective, none of them rise to the level of "naughty."
I trust that you will see fit to leave at least a little something in my stocking. Hopefully, something of the non-coal variety.