Dear Santa,

I was pretty good this year! No, really, really – hear me out. I got almost all of the permission slips for the DBs’ school signed and turned in on time. I only lost my ID badge once. And I know that I took the bottle from the bar at the CG’s Christmas party last night instead of just helping myself to a glass, but the glasses were really tiny and it was inefficient to keep getting up and I shared it, so . . . .

Anyway, for the sake of the season, let’s say I scrape by and get on the Nice List.

I’d like to thank you up front for what you brought last year. The can of spray snow is AWESOME, and except for DB1 spraying it in DB2’s face this morning, it’s been the source of much joy in our household. I’m also really, really thankful for that security clearance, although eleven months to fulfillment is a bit long. You might want to talk to your elves about that. The surprise gift membership to the Parasite of the Month Club was thoughtful, but I’m glad you only opted for the-six month subscription instead of the full year. It’s fine to skip that this year and pass it along to another person. If you want some suggestions as to who might appreciate it, I’ve got a brief list I’m more than willing to share.

This year’s list, Santa, is just as limited as last year’s. Unlike the DBs, whose lists take up half of a government-issue steno notepad, I’ve kept it to just a few.

  1. Plants that do not die. I know they exist, because my upstairs neighbor, C, has the most beautiful balcony garden. I see gorgeous tropical bushes and flowers everywhere, yet the instant they hit my balcony, they begin a downward spiral into compost. I used to think it was our helper V, who has very bizarre ideas when it comes to plants, but now I’m not so sure. Either way, if you can send some green vibes this way, I’d really appreciate it.
  2. Project Pills. Project pills are tablets that you can give children that make them plan ahead, sit down, and actually complete that long-term school project. In addition to making millions of parents happy, it would have the additional benefit of making the Naughty List a lot less complicated. I’m sure you have either heard of these or can make these, Santa – I have complete faith in you.
  3. A Tex-Mex chef.   220px-NCI_Visuals_Food_TacoNot for me, but for the benefit of all of Mumbai – I’m generous like that. Not necessarily Bobby Flay, but someone who is skilled in the art of tacos, nachos, fajitas, and tamales. Indians cook liberally with cumin and chilies, yet most of the Tex-Mex or “Mexican” food here is enough to make you run for the border. Better yet, just send a few Taco Bells my way. I will never understand while Yum Brands exports Pizza Hut and KFC, but holds back when it comes to the tastiest gem in their fast food crown.
  4. An Ambassador. AmbassadorReally, an Ambassador. I want a classic King of the Indian Road. The purple one that hangs out in Breach Candy is nice, but I’ll settle for a classic white one with some white-wall tires. Throw in a dashboard Ganesha and a bumper sticker of crossed Indian and American flags and I’ll be one happy gal. D, our driver, would be the proudest driver to ever talk smack in the Consulate parking lot, and I promise that even if it’s not available with A/C, I’ll take it to work every single day. I’ll need it with diplomatic plates and an export certificate, please.

I think that covers my heart’s desire list, Santa. Still, I know that many of these items are difficult to come by and I’m not always at the top of the Nice List, so just as I did last year, I offer my Alternative List:

  1. I went with vodka last year, this year I’ll take bourbon. I’ve been in a mint julep mood ever since American Pharaoh won the Triple Crown. If you can find a non-dying mint plant to go with it, that would be a nice touch.  220px-Makers_Mark
  2. A yoga t-shirt that chimpwear makes. Since I’m back into yoga (and being good and working hard in the gym), some new duds might make it more fun. I like the “yoga thoughts” one.
  3. A coupon book for useful things like “1 Day of No Smart Mouthing” or “48 Hours with No Fighting”. Maybe that should have come under the first list?
  4. Three weeks with DiploSis full of fun, craziness, and Incredible India.

Well, Santa, that’s it for 2015. As you can see, I’ve already stacked the deck in my favor on the alternate list by making sure item #4 is already well underway. As you know, DiploSis and her family arrived a few days ago and we’ve already begun the Incredible Indian Tour Holiday 2015. Don’t forget that there are now 4 kids in the house and 4 adults, and adjust item #1 on the Alternative List accordingly.

Have a safe trip Christmas Eve, watch out flying over Naxal territory, and bring some extra things to the Chennai flood survivors, because they could use a little extra love this year. We’ll be waiting for you with cookies and the 18-year-old scotch that’s always finished, even if the cookies aren’t. This year, we’re making it a double.