"Dear Santa,

I've been very good this year. The list of my good deeds is long, and I don't want to bore you with all of them. But my Christmas loot is at stake so I feel like I should at least tell you about some of the highlights in case you did not actually see me when I was sleeping, or know when I was awake ;)

This year I helped found a sustainable-living commune in northern Oregon, where I lived in harmony with other like-minded eco warriors and helped lead a peaceful campaign against the wasteful, greedy excesses of capitalism. I contributed to our community in my official capacity as camp dancemaker, storyteller, and dreamweaver. Although the homestead eventually splintered several months later over the red Russian kale vs. Scots kale dispute, I'm still fighting the good fight on behalf of mindful living. Moving back in with my parents has freed me up to do what I'm best at- some serious pondering and self-reflection. I've managed to cultivate some very heady, academic-level insights on the nobility of manual labor and subsistence farming. I haven't let the fact that I majored in interpretive dance deter me from entering into some very heavy discussions with people about economic and political systems. I like to think I've been changing some hearts and minds out there. People are blown away when I pull out a Paul Krugman or Noam Chomsky quote. I'm just all like, "Bam. It's facts, Dude. Open your eyes."

This year I may very well have saved my little cousin's life when I showed my aunt the research linking vaccination to autism. It's just like, people are so blind sometimes until you reach out and show them the web of lies corporate America is spinning. Big pharma is just one example. I've been showing some of my friends the healing arts of the native American shamans and the restorative power of Chinese medicine. Homeopathic practitioners have also changed my life, especially the newest book from Dr. Schnabel von Rom. And we wouldn't even need medicine if people would just eat right. I've been preaching the benefits of an organic, all-natural, raw, gluten-free, vegan, GMO-free, high-fructose-corn-syrup-free, local, low-carb diet to anyone who will listen. But it's still a McDonald's and Monsanto world out there.

I told my parents to buy a hybrid car this year and get rid of that ugly SUV. They said they'd think about it; so that's progress. Every drop of oil you don't use is a couple pennies Exxon and Haliburton won't have in their quest to completely destroy our planet.

Some other miscellaneous good things I've done this year that you should be aware of-

Still do not have a TV. My parents have one upstairs but I don't watch it, and I'm always telling them to throw it away because there's only garbage on TV these days.

Signed the Food Babe's anti-azodicarbonamide petition and got Subway to remove yoga mats from their bread.

Got a "catch Kony" tattoo, long after all of my friends had forgotten about him.

Read Salon magazine religiously.

Made a grimace face and a loud grunt of disapproval whenever I heard the words "Dick Cheney" or "Fox news" in public.

Followed PETA on Twitter and regularly retweet their tweets.

Still unfollowing Patton Oswalt after his insensitive and unfunny tweets last year.

Have not eaten at a Chick-Fil-A in three years.

Constantly on the prow for insensitive things on the internet in need of outrage and denouncement.

Bought one of Neil Young's Pono players and pretended to hear the difference.

Instead of buying my family and friends Christmas presents this year, I've made a donation in each of their names to a no-kill animal shelter. 

Boycotted the This American Life spin-off series, Serial, after learning that white people have no business reporting on ethnic communities.

Binge-watched every episode of Portlandia on Netflix without realizing the show is intended to be satirical.

I have made tremendous progress on my dreadlocks over the last year.

Now that I've shown how good I was, we come to the part of the letter where I ask for presents. First, a little me-time at the end of this selfless year. I'd like a new pair of Toms (size 9 1/2), a $50 gift card for Goodwill, six months of pottery classes at the community college, a new yoga mat to celebrate my victory over Subway, and a 13-inch Apple Macbook Pro with Retina Display. 

Secondly, I was going to ask for world peace, a free source of renewable energy, total income equality, an end to consumerism and corporations, as well as an end to racism and discrimination of every kind. Then I realized how empty my life would be if I didn't have those things to bitch about, so I'll settle for a little more... awareness. And a great start there could be by publishing this letter of all the good things I've done so that others can follow in my example.

Yours Truly,
River Moonshadow"

Wish granted; except for the me-time stuff of course. 

It's a Christmas miracle.

Santa Braff


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