Dear Santa,

I know I’m too old be writing to you, but I’m not sure I ever got around to thanking you for that bike when I was 6. The cheetah-themed banana seat was a nice touch.

I skinned many knees but learned three important things:

• How to pedal, steer, coast and brake without falling down. Much. And then getting back up to do it again and see what’s around the next corner. A good life skill.

• A skinned knee is a crisis in the moment, but it will not kill you.

• A bike means a freedom to roam and explore. And get barked at when you roam and explore too far.

What’s that? You’re not here for the yada-yada-yada, and what can you do for me today? You have stuff to do and deadlines to meet.

We’re all living that one, Santa. So, yes, I should cut to the chase.

What do I want? Nothing, really.

OK, socks. I’m, well, I’m older than 6 so those are always good. But that’s pretty dull.

What do I want? Peace on Earth would be good, but for right now I’d settle for someone just turning down the daily noise. We’d all be healthier, on some level, if we put down the smartphone and the remote, but life is – never has been – that simple. The price of engagement is a daily snootful of the good and bad, and there are many days when the pendulum swings to the unhappy side.

But this is the season of hope. Maybe, Santa, that is the thing we need. Maybe the good thing about this time of year is that even though everyone has to spin the hamster wheel a little faster, we are putting a good deal of thought and action into the needs of others. If we have that, we have hope.

You know, Santa, none of us are ever really off the clock any more. We carry the office around on our phones and in our heads.

So I was wondering if maybe we should synergize. Think about it: The daily paper is full of people getting caught being nice and people getting caught being naughty. You could offload a lot of your work to us.

I mean, seriously, do you still parse out those two lists by yourself? That’s commendable but a lot of work, and, let’s face it, you’re also no longer 6. No offense, but why not streamline and save time for a nap once in a while? You deserve it. Trust me. I’m a wonderful judge of character and worthiness.

Every kid should get a banana-seat bike. But I can think of one or two grumpy folks who could use a lump of coal. I’ve already started a list.

Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s editor. Reach him at 816-350-6365 or jeff.fox@examiner.net.