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Dear Santa, This year for Christmas I would like to have:

Dear Santa,

Check out that headline, would you? It probably sounds familiar to you because it’s the beginning of the template we give first-graders across Franklin County for writing their letters to you each Christmas.

Santa, there are hundreds of letters from Franklin County first-graders in the C section of this week’s paper. I’m sure all the children have been nice, so be sure to read their letters and grant their Christmas wishes!

I typed up their hand-written letters, Santa, so I read them all – hope that’s OK. You’d better have plenty of hoverboards, Hatchimals, LoL toys, iPhone 11s, remote control cars, Barbies, Nintendo Switches, books and surprises on hand because they are in great demand here in Franklin County!

As for me, I know you probably don’t get many letters from almost-30-year-olds, but since we’re sending this newspaper all the way up to the North Pole anyway, I thought it might be OK to include a short message of my own.

Of course I have a personal wish list, Santa, but I don’t want to bother you with that in these pages.

But would you bring some special gifts for Franklin County?

This year for Christmas I would like to have: no bad news during the holiday season; safe travels for everyone visiting their families; and great success for all community Christmas and New Year’s events planned here in north Alabama.

I would also like a few things to make 2020 merry and bright.

Could you bring us some big ideas for how to keep Franklin County a fantastic place to live, work and grow? How about giving us some grant funding for special projects across the county?

And Santa, if you could slip a few new restaurants, businesses and industries under the tree, I think it would make us all even more merry.

Well, we want to be sure to get this newspaper to you in time to finish filling up your sleigh for Christmas Eve. There’s plenty of cookies and milk waiting for you here in Franklin County, so bring your appetite!

Above all Santa, know that we believe. As newsman Francis Pharcellus Church wrote to young Virginia O’Hanlon, you exist “as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and

sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.”

The light’s still burning, Santa. Don’t forget us here in Franklin County.