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A freelance copywriter's letter to Santa.


by Magnus Shaw.


Dear Santa,

I'm not sure if you're aware, but Christmas is coming. Next week, apparently. With this in mind, I thought I'd better drop you a note to outline some of the stuff I'd like you to provide. I suggest you take the Harley Electraglide motorcycle and Ibanez Roadster 2 series bass guitar for granted and concentrate on the following ...

1. Could you somehow arrange it for folk to grasp when a capital letter is required and when it isn't? I know this is very tricky, but I think I may do myself a mischief if I see another common noun capitalised as if it were a proper noun. You know what I mean - it's that thing when people write to you and mention their Stocking or Turkey. Or your Sleigh.

2. Perhaps you'd have a word with people being interviewed on the broadcast media. Many have decided to begin their answers with the word 'So ...'. I think they believe this indicates they are about to give a detailed explanation of something or other, but mostly they don't. You could simplify this by scaring the living daylights out of the twonk telling them to do it.

3. Don't bother with presents for high-ranking managers who are handed enormous cheques to leave their jobs having manifestly and spectacularly failed. You see, quite often, this money is coming from public funds, so I'd say these vampires have already had their Christmas many times over.

4. You know how you can't go into a supermarket and only pay for half your trolley's contents because 'the budget is very small'? Could you arrange for clients to apply the same principle to requests for freelance work?

5. How about a PC operating system that functions properly? I'm a bit concerned you might bring me Windows 8. I don't wish to appear ungrateful, but when you gave me Vista and Windows 7 they were full of bugs. Unless Windows 8 is bulletproof could I have a teddy or something?

6. I think there'd be enormous ironic humour to be gained from 'forgetting' to deliver to the adults in houses plastered in energy wasting, tacky lights. Why don't we give that a go?

7. Isn't it time you created a division below the 'Naughty List', reserved for the likes of Assad , Mugabe and Rumsfeld? You could call it the 'Damned To All Hell' list.

8. You can leave the tangerine out of my stocking. There's a big bowl of them in the kitchen.

9. We had our roof done back in the Spring. I've checked and we're not covered for reindeer damage. Have a care, mate. I'm only a freelance.

10. In the course of 2012 I have won an absolute mint on a range of African lotteries, UN prize draws and payouts by the US Federal Reserve. I know this because they emailed to tell me.  Could you bring me some of those funds as they haven't arrived yet?

11. A bottle of James Bond aftershave please. You can get it here.

12. Also an unnecessarily enormous pair of headphones so I can look like everybody else on the train.

12a. As I write this, the world is set to end at some point tomorrow. Have you factored this into your planning? It would be a shame if you ordered the headphones and 007 aftershave only for Armageddon to scupper the whole deal.

14. Is too much to ask for the fragrant Suzanna Reid, off of BBC Breakfast, to be gift-wrapped and brought to my private rooms? Is it?

15. Failing all that, I'll settle for global peace and understanding.

Many thanks,

Magnus Shaw is a copywriter, blogger and consultant

Thanks to Terence Dackombe for calendar consultancy services.


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