Dear Santa,

Hello. Remember me? You brought me a Toodles doll in 1953 and a poodle skirt in 1959. Yes, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written you. I’m a big girl now and I’ve been nice, not naughty, for such a very long time. (Just in case you were wondering.)

Santa, I am also a very lucky girl. There is nothing I need or want that you can fit into that big, red bag of yours. But I do have a list of things I am asking you to take a look at. Maybe, just maybe, if you put your finger aside your nose and wish really, really hard, you can make at least some of these things come true. OK, Santa, here is my list:

1. Please Santa, can you do something about all the potholes in Tucson? It’s gotten so bad all the cars have a permanent shudder. The people who can fix the roads say there isn’t enough money to do all the work. Santa, could your reindeer at least haul some of the asphalt into the potholes and stomp it into place?

2. Please Santa, can you help us understand what a Michigan left turn is? Most of us know it has to do with not making a left turn at some intersections, but many of us don’t know what we do after that. Some of us keep going in the wrong direction. Forever. Please, Santa, since you will be flying over Michigan on Christmas Eve, maybe you can do one of those Google Earth maps and send it to us.

3. Please Santa, help us keep working to revitalize downtown Tucson. I remember how much fun it was to go there when I was a little girl — all the stores and restaurants and movie theaters. I know it can’t be exactly like that again, but it could still be a place where we all want to gather and maybe even live.

4. Please Santa, make sure the trolley really works and is a huge success. It will bring even more people into downtown and also give us a sense of pride — something we seem to have lost about the same time we stopped believing in you.

5. Please Santa, may every child live in a safe, happy home. And please help us fill all the food banks in town so no one goes hungry this Christmas — or any other day of the year.

6. Please Santa, make sure every puppy and kitty under the tree as a Christmas gift is still loved and cared for this time next year. And please make sure all the animals at the shelters get adopted, too!

7. Please Santa, can Tucson have some kind of baseball team to call its own again? Yes, we know lots of good little boys and girls love soccer, but some of us still miss the crack of the bat against the ball.

8. Please Santa, can you do something about the Legislature in Phoenix? All they seem to do is argue and “sweep” money from the things that need fixing down here — like our schools. They like to say it’s all the teachers’ fault — or the students’ fault — when schools are failing. And they say the state can’t afford to give back all the millions it’s taken from the schools. But yet there always seems to be enough money for prisons. Santa, why is this so?

9. Please Santa, can you see that we get plenty of rain here in the desert next year, especially in the summer when it is so hot and dry? Say, maybe you and your reindeer could even swoop down here and seed the clouds.

10. And please Santa, for my very last wish, can you please, please, please help us beat ASU in football next year? After all, we know you’re really a Wildcat at heart ’cause you always wear red.

Thanks again, Santa, for everything you’ve done over the years. And just to let you know, I still have my Toodles doll.

Bonnie Henry’s column runs every other Sunday. Contact her at