WASHINGTON — Dear, Washington, I wish you:
A mug of steaming, dairy-free cocoa with gluten-free marshmallows.
A lovely meal of real salmon, not the genetically modified Frankenfish.
A Christmas tree that does not cause your allergies to go into full-blown alert.
Last year’s Christmas lights that magically untangle themselves and are not the kind where one bulb causes the whole strand to fail.
Full-throated, tuneful carolers who do not case your house for potential burglary.
A cheerfully decorated house that does not cause your electric bill to rival the cost of a root canal.
A holiday with no dental escapades.
A holiday with no plumbing disasters.
Presents that make you smile and do not include a sweater with any kind of knitted animal on the front.
A plateful of Christmas cookies without the little bits that coat your tongue red and green.
An office party without angst.
A shopping visit to a mall that does not make you loathe the human race.
A department-store Santa whose beard is believable and whose breath is alcohol-free.
A light coating of snowflakes that does not cause a single traffic problem.
A Christmas pageant where the shepherds, angels and wise men all get on stage on time without causing their parents heart palpitations.
Toys that do not have “some assembly required.”
Instructions that make sense and can be followed.
Toys that do not have missing parts or need more than four AAA batteries, let alone the big, expensive D ones.
A season without debate about those who wish you, “happy holidays” and those who wish you, “merry Christmas.”
Gamboling deer on your lawn that do not have ticks, lice or fleas.
Mistletoe that causes no regrets.
Christmas cards that do not come from those you crossed off your list this November.
Christmas card letters that are believable and not so goody goody they make you feel your life is a failure.
Your Christmas letter that brims with good news, promotions, well-earned riches and your children’s amazing exploits (and good grades).
A glass of mulled wine that does not violate FDA, USDA or BATF regulations.
Laser-lights that project delightful dancing stars and snowflakes on the front of your house but do not tip over and blind the pilot of a passing jetliner.
A made-for-TV Christmas movie you have not seen 49 times and that does not end with the pretty blonde single mom with no money falling for the millionaire guy who rammed her car at the beginning of the show and later helps her search for and find her small moppet who ran away because of a misunderstanding.
No line and plenty of seats and fresh popcorn at “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Poinsettias that die promptly in January and do not straggle on until June, causing you guiltily to dump a glass of water on them too little and too late, marring your tabletop forever.
A full day without any thought or conversation about primaries, brokered conventions, locked-in delegates or the venomous you know who.
Peace and joy.
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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send her email at [email protected].