List to Santa includes jobs for community

Published 9:04 am Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dear Santa,

In a few days, we’re going to print several hundred letters that some of our local children have written to you, which means you’re about to get really, really busy. And so, in my never-ending quest to get on the good list, I figured I’d get mine in early, avoid the rush, and score a few brownie points by trying to make your life a little easier.

My list doesn’t really have any toys on it, so your elves can keep busy with the things on the kids’ lists. And two of the letters are from my children, so trust me, I know how much is being asked of you and your staff this year.

You’ve got a ton on your plate already, and it seems like we expect more and more of you each year, but I’ve been pretty good so far in 2010, and I hope you’ll at least consider what’s on my list.

First, I’d like some new jobs for my friends and neighbors. The last year or so has been tough, and we could use some really good news soon. Maybe one of those biodiesel or wood-product things at the paper mill that we’ve been hearing rumors about for awhile will finally get going.

I’d also like a lot of customers and sales for our local businesses. I know I talk about them a bunch, but most of them really are great at what they do. They have quality products and fantastic services, and usually offer them for a fair price. And if you and the elves run short on time, I’ll bet some of them could even hook you up on some last-minute stuff.

And speaking of local businesses, I’d sure like to see some new ones move to downtown Franklin. I beat that drum a lot too, but it’s just really important for us. What I really think we need down there are some businesses that cater to a new generation of shoppers and customers.

Boykins has an ice cream shop downtown; why in the world doesn’t Franklin? Maybe if we had some ball fields down there, or a little movie theater that specialized in kids’ movies or something like that. Imagine if kids could come into town to play their ball game, then go get some ice cream and see a movie with their family? Sure sounds like a good idea to me.

I’d also like to ask for some vision and courage for our elected officials because they are in a position to help create an environment where good ideas take root and flourish. We have a lot of hard decisions ahead of us, both locally and nationally, and we need leaders who will make tough, responsible decisions to help us get back on track.

I guess I’m also asking you for the wisdom that we need to get back to voting for people who are qualified and up to the task.

Santa, we also have a lot of friends who are far away from their homes, families and loved ones, and it’s really hard on them … especially at Christmas. This year, I’d like to ask for a special blessing of peace and safety for the men and women who are far from home securing the safety of our great nation. They are heroes. They serve with honor and courage, and deserve our unending gratitude and respect.

I hope, too, that their families know how grateful this nation is for their own dedication and sacrifice. I can’t imagine what it takes to do what they do. I hope we can bring them all home very soon.

And Santa, last but not least, please help see to it that my family gets all that they wish for this year. I am blessed with a wife and kids who are loving and supportive, and they have patiently stood by me through thick and thin. They deserve all that they could ever dream of.

Which is why I haven’t asked you for anything for me this year … you can’t bring me a single thing this year that would make me any happier than what I already have.

So if it’s not too much to ask for, I hope you’ll consider the things on my list. And you might want to get busy too because on Wednesday you’ll be reading about 600 letters in The Tidewater News from kids with lists that will keep you and the elves pretty busy right up to the last minute.

P.S. Thanks for renewing your subscription. We appreciate your business.

TONY CLARK is a marketing consultant and director of special projects at The Tidewater News. He can be reached at