My friend J is being shipped out right before the Christmas holiday. Another friend, working for a defense contractor, left before Thanksgiving. That brings the total count of people I know in Iraq to a baker's dozen. I'm afraid before this mess is over, everyone I know will be working in the Middle East in one capacity or another.

Somewhere between breaking the news of his assignment and our saying goodbye, the topic of Santa Wishlists came up.

Santa, if you can hear me, or if you read blogs, this is what I want for Christmas this year:
1. An unlimited pass to fly anywhere in the world free of charge. To expire Christmas night of 2004.
2. The courage to leave my job so I can use my unlimited flying pass to visit all of my loved ones who live so far away.
3. Resolve to finally replace all of my bad habits with less-bad habits.
4. The audacity to attempt a living as a photographer and exhibit my photos *somewhere*.
5. The ability to think of a person and relieve them of their anxiety or fear or doubt for a 24-hour period. (this gift would also expire on Christmas of 2004 because I'll probably be worn out by then and I'm sure someone, somewhere will request this superpower)

Oh - and if there's any room left in that bright red bag of yours, a loft-apartment in downtown DC would be really SWEET!

Anyway - what do YOU want from Santa? Better yet - do you think you've been more naughty, or nice this year?


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