Dear Santa,

It’s me, Little ‘Drea from the near-west suburbs. I realize this letter is reaching you a bit late and all the good stuff may have already been allocated. But I can explain my tardiness.

First of all, I don’t have a reliable laptop, so put that at the top of the list, and tell the elves to splurge on the multimedia package and to toss in a gift card for Internet service. That way I can post to your MySpace page next year and bypass the snail mail.

I wasn’t going to ask for anything at all since the world is supposedly in a recession. However, after watching the news on Black Friday I thought I better put in my list. After all, I saw millions of shoppers (already in debt) lined up at 3 a.m. to blitz the doors at Wal-Mart.

By the way, how is the lawsuit coming against the Big W?

They say charity starts at home, so please send my hubby some job security. Things are already tough and he gets cranky when he is around the house for too long. Christmas is bad enough when he takes a little vacation time. He spends most of the week talking about how I need to clean my room. Perhaps you can drop an NBA package for our satellite dish and some laryngitis in his stocking.

For the littler ones, please bring them some toys that don’t contain lead or other harmful substances. It would also be a bonus if Nintendo Wii is still in stock. That would be a pleasant surprise. No need to get the game cartridges that simulate playing music and sports. Tell the elves to toss in the game cartridge that simulates cleaning up their rooms, getting good grades, and demonstrating good manners.

I always have trouble deciding what to get my grandparents for Christmas. Maybe this year gift cards would not be such a bad idea. Oh, can you send me a list of companies that will still be in business next year? I heard that many stores are still selling gift cards even though they will not make it to 2009.

Complaining is not my style and I realize you already get requests for world peace. Since I am not one to be greedy either, I will just ask for local peace. I would like it if none of my neighbors fought over local school and government politics. I also would also appreciate not having anymore elected officials dumb enough to think they can bring corruption to the party and not leave with a gift bag filled with jail time.

P.S. Tell the Tooth Fairy I no longer need the two front teeth I requested. I am definitely working on dealing with all four of my wisdom teeth.

See you Christmas Eve. The digital mini-cam you gave me last year comes in pretty handy!

Love, Little ‘Drea from the small town suburb with the big city feel.

Andrea Blaylock has lived in Forest Park since 1994. When she isn’t chasing her four kids and husband, she is serving on the library board of trustees, majoring in apparel design at Dominican University and she says, enjoying every day with which God has blessed her.