John Y. Brown, III: Merry Christmas!

10348435_10155019573515515_5526405421402326145_nMerry Christmas!

Younger days with my sisters and mom and dad. When everything was possible, days ran long and years seemed like an eternity. And Christmas was a monumental and defining event for how good a year it had been.

And Santa Claus was everything we wanted him to be –and was more real than family members we lived with. And chased around the yard between Santa’s visits.

P.S. This is a particularly poignant picture because tonight my sister Sandy told me this picture reminded her of how she remembered me during our childhood. Happy, engaged and very busy in my own unencumbered world.

I liked that a lot.

And hope the very same for every child. Especially mine…even though they aren’t really children any more. But hope they never forget how to be childlike and unencumbered.


A Santa Claus “Hail Mary”

Dear Santa,

I know that now is late in the Christmas game, so to speak, but wanted to reach out to you before midnight and just say “Hi” and wish you and Mrs Claus and the entire Claus family a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

I know how hard you have worked and just want you to know how much I personally appreciate all you do. So, thanks and be safe tonight. It is really cold in some parts and foggy for the reindeer. Be careful!

Oh and by the way, I am sure you got my Christmas list earlier and I appreciate you taking the time to read it all. I know it was long.

I suspect at first blush after reading my long present list you probably thought to yourself, “Whaaaat?? This guy thinks he deserves all this?” LOL!! I wouldn’t blame you if you did. I probably would do the same thing if I were in your shoes. But let me try to explain.

I totally get the whole “naughty and nice” algorithm you use to decide who gets what kind and what quantity of gifts. I think it is a good system personally. At the same time I think we can both agree that there can sometimes be the occasional oversight with the current system and, perhaps, in those few cases when that happens, a closer look may be warranted.

Look, I will be the first to admit I did not get off to a great start this year. But I think it is important to look at how I trended upward at the end of the year and how promising that should be for next year. And if I felt, you know, disappointed with my presents tomorrow….how that might discourage me at a pivotal time when I am trending so positively with “nice” behavior.

I am not trying to make you feel responsible for my bad behavior next year if I get discouraged tomorrow after opening my presents. Not at all. I am just asking you to try to understand human behavior and to see how something bad — and totally unintended— like that could really happen. And how none of us would want that to occur.

Just think about it.Ok? That’s all I am saying.

And remember, the majority of reputable psychologists today would agree that a few isolated episodes of “bad behavior” doesn’t make someone a “bad person” or a “not nice person,” to use the Christmas parlance. We have leaned a lot from social sciences in the past hundred years since Christmas started and I think it is OK to take that into consideration.

Earlier this year when you probably gave me some pretty bad marks I want you to know that I wasn’t being “bad” because I wanted to be evil. I was just in a bad place personally and made some bad choices at that time. And that is all behind me now. Almost all of it. I swear.

Anyway, I have taken up enough of your time already. Heck, this is just a good luck and Merry Christmas note I wanted to dash off to you. Sorry for getting so longwinded. Just thinking out loud and wanted to share it with you because I have so much respect for you as a person.

I hope some of it made sense and you can see how Christmas presents need to be based not so much on a static “this year’s behavior” metric but also on a dynamic “next year’s projected behavior based in trend lines” (and detailed explanations like this one.)
I will also private message you some graphs I have put together to help illustrate my points.

OK, Santa!! Another great year coming up for all of us!! I can just feel it. Those graphs are on their way!!

Merry Christmas, Santa! And thank you in advance for always keeping such an open mind!! And being such an understanding and jolly old soul!!

Sincerely — make that “Love,”
Your good friend, John


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