CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Dear Santa Claus, I don't want anything for Christmas. Really. Christmas is for kids, and I did all my shopping in August and squirreled it away. I am really focused on making it good for the kids and yourself. I am just an instrument of God's peace on Jesus' birthday. But if I thought THAT JAPANESE PEARL NECKLACE FROM C.F. REUSCHLEIN'S in Huntington was under the tree, it might make me feel a little better. But it's really not necessary at all. Don't even LAY IT AWAY FOR MY BIRTHDAY. I will just be the only woman in town we know without a string of serious pearls. This is a religious holiday. It's not about material things. And I said Japanese pearls, not Chinese pearls. There is a difference and everybody knows it, and if YOU don't know the difference, Google it. Anyway, I don't have a daughter to leave the pearls to, and it will just be something else for my sons' future ex-wives to fight about. I also realize I will be up at 3 a.m. on Christmas Day, having stayed up all night wrapping meticulously to make everything perfect for everyone while wearing ORTHOPEDIC SHOES. I will be cooking and dragging things out of the garage in the middle of the night, all night, getting everything ready while you read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." I also realize Christmas Day is going to be the year's ultimate scream and shriek fest, making my head explode. But I have a Valium for that. It's OK. In fact, Christmas Day is the only day of the year when anyone really needs a Valium at 6:30 a.m. I know that I will be so delighted to see the sheer joy on everyone's faces as I pick up all the garbage, cook and wash dishes all day. Feeling completely out of control with the volume of mess is normal on Christmas. It's part of the fun! I will just relax and enjoy it this time while counting my blessings. I'm not a martyr. Now I know you don't like stores, so all year long you just let me get what I want. Therefore, every day is Christmas! I would never want you to take TIME AWAY FROM YOURSELF to go look at that necklace I've BARELY mentioned because of the personal effort expended on YOUR part in a gift selection. Especially when you have so many pressing matters to attend to. If you absolutely have to do something, ANOTHER Barbra Streisand CD in my stocking is fine. It's good to have them all -- one set for the car and another for the house. And you know that I have enough bath salts, but if you wanted to pick up some smelling salts for when I faint from nervous exhaustion, that would be OK. If we are at a party and the baby sitter calls to tell us the cats knocked the Christmas tree over again, you just stay with our friends, honey. I'll take care of it. Lord knows the baby sitter doesn't know what to do. She was just waiting for something interesting to happen to ruin everything. I'll pick you up later. You can tell me how great it was to see everyone and catch up after being buried alive all year. I will do all the worrying about being pregnant again every single month because WE don't believe in serious preventative measures of birth control because WE believe the Catholics have a point. This is my gift to you. But only one of them. I did plan a few little surprises for you. NO. It is not what you will think, initially, but you can have that too. Actually, it is the gift of leaving you alone for an entire weekend with the kids while I stay in a hotel in Lexington alone -- the same one I got pregnant in the last time via God's will would be fine. I want you to have this breathtaking experience. I love you, Santa. There is nothing as rare as a good man. All things considered, you are an exception, not a rule. Forget the necklace, it's you I want for Christmas. Reach Tracy Herz at email@example.com.