It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so they sing, when all we should want for Christmas is our two front teeth (which takes on a whole new meaning in Alabama). Or to be home, (wait for it)… if only in our dreams (or occasionally nightmares depending on who shows up — you know which not-so-distant relative I’m talking about).

Or for it to be white (probably more likely to see frogs falling from the sky than flakes in south Alabama). Or most simply, “All I (should) want for Christmas is you.” But I don’t even know you, so that’s kind of creepy.

As I get older, I find it more and more difficult to answer the question, “What do you want for Christmas?” That’s probably why I ended up getting a new mop bucket from my husband last year. Seriously. In his defense, I really did need it, and the new one did have a bottle of Veuve Clicquot chilling in it, but that’s what you get when you keep telling your husband, “I don’t care. Surprise me.” Maybe I’ll get a new laundry basket this year, although icing down the champagne in it could get a little tricky.

But a girl can dream.

Once you get past the age where a Coca-Cola rugby shirt and Debbie Gibson’s new CD won’t fulfill your wildest dreams, it’s just harder to come up with a list of “things” you want … at least “things” with sensible price tags on them.

But, isn’t Christmas more about the priceless anyway? Spending the evening with an old friend who only comes into town once a year. Getting out for a rare date night with your spouse, even if the “date” is going to your respective office Christmas parties. A few extra days off so you can spend time with the folks you just don’t see enough. Baking the holiday dishes of someone who is no longer with us, and feeling connected to them through their fudge recipe. And of course, watching your children believe in the magic of it all.

Yep, I’ll take the priceless over a new Foot Bath and/or massager any day.

But enough about me. I may not be able to come up with a personal gift list for Santa or my husband, but I can for some of our other types of elves. You see there are plenty of price-less gifts we all could receive this year, and we don’t even have to involve the jolly ol’ fat man, just our elected leaders. A group to whom you never want to say, “I don’t care. Surprise me.”

So without further adieu, I present to you a Christmas wish list to the politicos of South Alabama….

Finish your term in office. We have had an insane amount of these this year. Unless you or someone in your immediate family is dying, finish what you started. We thoughtfully elected you to office, it is your responsibility to represent us until the end of your term. These special elections are expensive, exhausting and open the door for the possibility of someone nuttier than Aunt Edna’s fruitcake being elected. I don’t care about what great opportunity you may personally have, you were elected to find those opportunities for us, not yourself. Get rich or career climb once you’ve fulfilled your obligation.

Spend our money wisely. Whether it’s BP money or from our sales tax, this money is not magic dough made in Santa’s workshop. It is not infinite in nature, nor is it your personal piggy bank. We are going to have a once-in-a-lifetime (hopefully) opportunity to do something meaningful with the money that is coming as a result of the horrific oil spill. Don’t fatten your buddies’ pockets by buying up their land or waste it on some fleeting project or event. Make it count. Spend it on something that will be meaningful for generations to come.

Stop being divisive. Yes, I’m talking to you, Fred Richardson. I love the MoonPie Drop. Kudos to you on coming up with the idea. But calling everyone a racist who dares to ask how public money was spent on the event is ridiculous. The only reason this event was ever put under the microscope in the first place is that it has been almost comical as to how difficult it has been to get an accounting on how money was spent on it. That has nothing to do with Fred Richardson and everything to do with the lack of transparency.

I agree the books should be open on all city-sponsored events and programs, and we should absolutely see where we are getting the most bang for our buck — that will help us with Number Two on this list. I don’t think anyone in the new administration has a problem with doing that, do they? In fact, I’m pretty sure they have called for a forensic audit of all city finances, not just Fred Richardson’s pet projects. Maybe if we had put a little more scrutiny on ALL of these expenditures in the past, some of those open ditches in Trinity Gardens you have been complaining about for AT LEAST the last 11 years would be closed by now.

If you have ever been elected to office, even if you, let’s say, might have left against your will, please do not spend your golden years (allegedly) trying to pick up little girls on the Internet — even if they are fake — (ahem) Freeman Jockisch. No one is going to believe you are trying to “help” them. If you want to do that, volunteer somewhere. Wait, scratch that.

But please if you do get caught doing this, for Santa’s sake, DO NOT go on TV and tell us about how much blood is flowing (or not) to your, um, little elf. Also a note to the University of Alabama: you may want to spend more time suing people accused of felonies who are sporting your official attire in their mugshots and perp walks, rather than going after sweet little bakeries who are putting cursive As on their cookies. Just a suggestion.

Anyway, I may not get my new laundry basket this year, but I am hoping our officials may make some of these dreams come true for us all. Though sadly, there’s a probably a better chance of 10 feet of snow falling on Christmas morn.

But a girl can dream.