Santa may be making his list and checking it twice at this time of year but I’m even doing Santa one better: I’m making my Christmas list and checking it not once, not twice, but three times.

At first, I was going to leave out those people who have been naughty and only include those who were nice – i.e., do it the same way the big guy does it – but if I did that, I’m not sure that anyone would get gifts this year and, also, there but for the grace of God go I.

Anyway, just in time for Christmas, I’ve finally finished my list …


Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan. Her very own civil rights museum.

For a couple of years now, the mayor has been trying to get Skip Alston’s and Earl Jones’ civil rights museum, so I know for a fact that she really wants one and she doesn’t have one.

I’m sure if we all pitch in together we can find her a very nice one that the city could open and run since she can’t have the other one.


Guilford County Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt. A nice three-week vacation in the deluxe top floor suite of the Royal Hawaiian luxury hotel in Honolulu.

You thought you had a hectic year in 2016. Starting even before the year began, the Guilford County elections department had to move filing dates, and then, this year, had to hold an unprecedented June congressional and NC Supreme Court primary. All year long in 2016, they had to wait constantly on the courts and change everything around – including voter ID law changes – several times at the last minute on the fly. Think how hard that is. For goodness’ sakes, it’s an election not a Facebook post.

And, after the election was over, the governor’s race kept going on and there were weeks of protests and then they had to recount the votes in the state auditor race. All of which has made Collicutt the hardest working man in vote business.

It’s almost Christmas and they’re still not really done. To top it off, a federal court has ordered more redistricting and special elections in 2017.

On top of all that, Collicutt and his wife had a child this year, and when he was on the way to the hospital a huge state elections board ruling came down so he was on the phone in the car talking to elections staff with his wife in labor. That suggests he’s a really great elections director – though I’m not sure what it says about him as a husband. I’ve never met his wife but everyone tells me she is very beautiful and I do know she’s a Pilates instructor and I’m sure he would like to spend some quality time with her in Hawaii, so that’s what I’m getting him.


Siri. The personal assistant who lives in my phone.

Hmmm, what should I get her? That’s a good question. I’m not sure what she’d like. Let me ask. “Siri, what do you want for Christmas?

“I wish for peace among all species.”

OK, yeah; that should be real easy to get for you. In fact, I think I just saw that on sale at Target. I like the way she asked for peace not just among all humans but among all species. I think I can convince all cats and mice to stop fighting, but that road runner/coyote rivalry is going to be a hard nut to crack. I like a woman with limited wants, and I mean you, Siri.

Oh wait, I know what I’ll get her – a #&%*-ing hearing aid so she can understand what the &#@% I am saying for a change.


Speaking of electronic personal assistants …

“Alexa, what do you want for Christmas?”

“I don’t want anything, but thank you for asking.”

You got it. Merry Christmas, Alexa.


Donald Trump. President elect. The Drunk Message Blocker App and Designated Dialer for iPhone.

I don’t think drinking is his problem but, regardless of the reason, these two apps combined should help keep him from crazy tweeting in the middle of the night. With these apps, you can prearrange to shut down your ability to dial, tweet or post during certain dangerous time periods – so you don’t wake up the next morning and turn on the TV and find yourself with your head in your hands, saying, “Oh no, I tweeted that last night?”

These apps can incapacitate Trump’s phone after midnight and can also ban certain numbers and make sure that, every time Trump tries to call Megyn Kelly or the president of Taiwan, instead of dial tone he’ll get a prerecorded message reminding him why it’s a bad idea to make the call.


The News & Record. A lump of coal ash in their stocking.

Now, normally this wouldn’t be a good Christmas present at all for someone, but the News & Record is crazy in love with coal ash and these days it’s just about the only thing they ever write about. I counted the other day and the Greensboro Coal Ash Daily – uh, I mean News & Record – had 3,641 stories on coal ash this month alone. The News & Record and coal ash need to just get a room and lock the door and have at it and leave us all out of it because we don’t want to watch.


Speaking of the News & Record, there’s Susan Ladd, columnist for the paper. I want to get her a high-quality, highly durable punching bag. I think it would do her good each morning if, when she got up, she could just go to her punching bag and just unload on it with all her fury for about 30 minutes every morning before she started writing.


Exxon, Citgo, Sheetz and all. I’m getting them a backup supply line to the states south of the Mason-Dixon line. Who knew before this year that there was only one gas line to the Southeast and it was made of razor thin glass. Every time an old lady on a nature hike in northern Virginia accidentally bumps her cane into the pipe, the entire Southeast has no gasoline for a week.


Santa Claus. I thought it would be nice to get something for him and his reindeer because they are always giving out presents to everyone but they never get anything in return. Oh, sure, some milk and stale cookies that have been left out all night – but I mean they never get anything good.

I thought of the perfect present for Santa: An Amazon Prime account. Then, rather than traveling around the world in the cold all night in the future, he can just order every gift for every home right from Amazon and use the free shipping. Then, on Christmas Eve, he, the reindeer and the elves can just relax and take it easy and enjoy themselves at home by the fire like everyone else.

Merry Christmas, Santa.