Dear Santa

Bill Trudell asks Santa for gifts for Canadian and world leaders – and the gift of kindness for all

Bill Trudell

Dear Santa,

Well, it has been quite a while — years, likely — since I last wrote to you. It seems that you always know what to bring me for Christmas, even though I stopped sending you a list. This year, however, I thought I had better write.

I don’t need anything for me, but there are some presents I would like you to consider for others as you load your (energy-efficient) sleigh. I know you are busy, and I don’t even know if you have internet up there, but I am hoping you may find the time to read my column.

As you may have noticed, we are in a lot of trouble in our world these days. We are desperately in need of some Christmas cheer. I suspect that some of these gifts you may not have, but I thought I would reach out to you just in case.

The United States of America needs a wakeup call, so perhaps you could drop off some common sense down there. They have a president who is rude and often vulgar. Currently, he is bullying a sixteen-year-old who is concerned about climate change. As an alternative, perhaps you could bring American children some earplugs so that they don’t have to listen to him, even if their parents don’t realize how embarrassing he is. I suppose it is too big an ask to just turn their clocks ahead, by about five years, so that they can wake up on a Christmas morning without the migraine-inducing impeachment process and with a new occupant in the Oval Office.

I doubt world leaders will have time to write their own letters and requests to you, so I am going to suggest some gift ideas for them. Could you bring Prime Minister Trudeau some plain socks that he can pull up? Could you bring Jody Wilson-Raybould a new wiretap kit and maybe a bigger office? I think Andrew Scheer could use a new suitcase in which to pack up his things, and Jason Kenney could likely use a pony to replace his high horse for the next time he rides into Ottawa. Jagmeet Singh could use a vacation package to explore Quebec, and its premier, François Legault, could use one of Mr. Singh’s turbans, to see how it feels.

I hope you don’t forget to bring Ontario Premier Doug Ford a present, because you likely noticed he was naughty in his first term but is trying to be nice now; perhaps bring him some apples for Ontario’s schoolteachers. Actually, I think all the premiers would enjoy a game of Monopoly that they could play together.

I don’t know how you do it in one night, but when you visit countries around the world, there are gifts I am sure world leaders might enjoy, too.

President Putin, I think, would appreciate a hair shirt and perhaps a pair of soft sneakers so he cannot be heard when he is strutting around his palace and other countries, like the Ukraine.

Chancellor Merkel might really enjoy an electric car for when she leaves office, but could you also bring her a new pair of shoes so that she can leave an old pair behind to see if anyone can fill them?

President Macron, I am certain, would love a vest in any colour but yellow.

When you visit Israel, I suspect Prime Minister Netanyahu would really like a western bank to fund his upcoming legal defence. And Santa, could you leave a kite for President Erdogan to fly in Europe, because I don’t think he realizes his Turkey won’t fly?

And speaking of Europe, the whole union might benefit from reading The Three Musketeers and adopting the novel’s “One for all, and all for one” motto. I think Boris Johnson will need a hairbrush and some good old Canadian cannabis as he tries to sell his basket of Brexit goodies.

This is a long list, but I wanted to write to you in case you might need ideas. But seriously, Santa, I want to suggest to you that you be careful. The skies are full of pollution, drones and 5G satellites. Perhaps all your reindeer should have noses that light the way. And when you visit the northern communities, be extra careful in landing your sleigh on the ice; it’s melting these days.

If these suggestions are too difficult to fulfill, I really only have one serious request. Could you just, on that one special night, sprinkle the whole world with a magical and lasting passion for justice and help us, at least on Christmas, to slow down and embrace again the gift of kindness to others — what the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

P.S. And don’t worry, Santa; I will leave your milk and cookies in the usual place.

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