Santa & His Grinch

Doesn't seem fair on top of everything else to be picking on Santa, does it?

But out there, in shopping malls and department stores around the U.S., thousands of children line up to sit on Santa's lap and tell their innermost secrets and wishes for the Christmas season. Turns out, this is good for business too. You see, Santa Claus helps bring in numbers of shoppers who spend extra time and dollars that keep the private sector as profitable as possible. That profit comes at our expense -- yours and mine. So, Santa's visitation is also being underwritten by you and me and the impact of our hard-earned dollars is seen in those centers of shopping delight. My thought is this: I 'own' part of Santa and you do too!

Here's what's on my list for Santa this year. Instead of telling children of soldiers who are deployed in military service in Iraq and elsewhere that their parents (who cannot afford the rip-off 'studio portrait package') may not use their own cameras to take a couple of their own photos of their kid on Santa's lap, welcome dependents of Military Families warmly and with Dignity to a modest giveaway package that won't break anybody's corporate bank account. That is, try a little human kindness. Give a little for goodness sake. For some of these families the 'kid-on-Santa's lap picture' was going back to Iraq with the troops for their next deployment -- any day now.

Don't make me name names you corporate Grinches! Get your magic marker and a poster board and mark up the latest special for Military Troops and Their Families (with ID of course) your best offer and win some goodwill and additional business besides.

Because the war will be over someday, so we hope, and some of us won't forget what corporate citizens do for our troops and their families when it matters.