I apologize for being late in getting this letter to you. If anyone knows the problems of late orders and rush deliveries during the busy season, its me and you.

Santa, I have really been good this year. I’m an independent business person. I’ve supplied a majority of the new jobs that have made this a prosperous year for most of our citizens. I’m responsible for providing the new innovations for our future. I’ve worked long and hard to deliver good service to my customers and been generous in support of our community.

I haven’t engaged in any “get rich quick” schemes, been involved in insider trading or attempted to convert my business into a non-profit ministry. I haven’t plagiarized any speeches, falsified academic records or interviewed any prospective employees on an overnight cruise to Bimini. Not that I have been perfect mind you, there’s a little larceny in all of us, but by and large, I’ve been pretty good this year.

As I said earlier, I know I’m late in getting this letter to you, but I’ve got just a few requests that would make for a very Merry Christmas.

Customers. I love them all and they are the heart of my business. Bring me all the new ones that you can. Try to make them the ones that appreciate what we try to do for them. We make our mistakes from time to time and don’t mind being called to task when we do, but it’s a great boost for me and my people when we hear from a satisfied customer. See if you can find a couple of them for me as you make your rounds.

Employees. Well if you get me a few new customers, I’ll probably need a few more employees too. Find me some who want to work hard and will look for a better way to do the job. Somebody who will avoid waste and cut costs. Somebody who will ask questions when they need help. I guarantee you that I’ll take very good care of them.

Give me a tax system that is fair and straightforward. We independent business people pay our taxes. Income taxes, business taxes, social security for ourselves and our employees, sales taxes, franchise taxes, state taxes and on and on. It’s not easy to figure them out or to write the checks. You don’t need to be a detective to know that everybody isn’t paying their fair share. Next time around let’s really simplify the system and make it fair.

Send me suppliers and service people that share my business philosophy. I want to do business with suppliers who are interested in long term relationships. The more they can help my business, the better customer I can be. I am loyal to those types of suppliers.

Santa, you travel a lot in your own corporate sleigh so you probably don’t know what’s going on in commercial travel these days. It isn’t pretty for those of us who have to travel on business. I know its not easy running an airline. But please, give them a few pointers on how you safely make your appointed rounds on schedule and still have a genuine smile on your face.

Last year, if you remember, you gave me the wisdom to plan two vacations. Only problem was that an employee’s illness caused me to cancel the first one and we had to return early from the second. Since it’s the first couple of days away that are the most benefit, let me be smart enough to take a couple of long weekends off when things are slow.

This is probably too much to ask for, but I sure would like to get back to a system where our lawmakers ended up working under the laws they passed. I respect the contributions that individuals make when they enter public service, but it would make for a Happy New Year if they walked in our shoes from time to time. Take social security taxes for example, for all the noise that Congress makes, members of Congress and some of their staffs are exempt from paying social security taxes. Not too long ago government service was time away from the job, not a full time job.

After having told you how good I’ve been this year, I’ve got a confession to make, I haven’t been totally honest with my accountants. Oh I haven’t given false information or any thing like that, it’s just that I really don’t understand all the information that they give me. I just kind of sit there and nod my head like I really do understand. I’ve been doing it for so long now that I don’t know how to tell them I really don’t understand. Find away for me to get out of this predicament without making both of us look silly.

Finally Santa, my family. They have to put up with a lot over the course of the year, my preoccupied mind, busy schedule, early days and late nights. But they are one of the major reasons that I work like I do. While they most often see the problems and the effort, I want them to also see the joy and the pride because it’s really their business too.