Larry Elder
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Dear Santa,

My name is Timmy and I'm in the third grade.

My mom says I have to write thank-you letters for gifts. So thanks for the video games and stuff. But I have a couple of things I'd like to know about, if you feel like it.

One day in class Mrs. Tompkins -- that's the teacher who teaches us -- said a lot of people in this country eat too much food which makes them get fat and die ahead of skinny people. She said it is better to eat salad and other stuff that does not taste good, because salads don't get stuck inside the pipes of your body so that the blood and air inside the pipes can keep going without running into a French fry.

So how come you are so fat? Mrs. Tompkins said that if you eat a lot, you make other people eat a lot, too, because kids look up to you like they do their parents and try to do what you do. She said that grown-ups like you, Santa, need to be good road medals. So maybe next time, instead of fixing what you like, Mrs. Claus should fix something you don't like but is better for you, like a salad.

I want to ask you about the air being dirty. The sled you are in when the reindeers pull you looks really small and since you give out toys to every good kid you must have to go to the North Pole and back a lot of times. Does this mean you use a lot of gas and make the air really dirty? Mrs. Tompkins says the gas everybody gets makes it dirty and smell bad and kills animals, including us, too. We watched a movie about polar bears who did not have a house anymore because of the gas inside my dad's car. The movie said you should make the sun heat your house with a thing that you put on top of the roof. Can you put one on top of your sled so that the reindeer and especially Rudolph will not have to work as much and besides, it will help the air? Mrs. Tompkins said that sometimes people that do things to make the air really bad will plant trees because trees are good for the air. Maybe during part of the time when you are not in the chimney with gifts, you can plant trees for the air. Maybe you can get Mrs. Claus to do it, because I hardly ever see her do anything.

I have a dog named Champ. I know that you like animals too, because of the reindeers. One day Mrs. Tompkins told us that when we go to McDonald's and open the bun there's an animal inside. Do you treat the reindeer and especially Rudolph in a good way? I guess you do or they might run away, like Champ did one time when my little brother left the door open. Champ was gone a long time and my dad went to look for him and, even though he found him, he was still mad anyway. So I hope that you treat the reindeer really good so they don't run away and nobody eats them.

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Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.