Dear Jingle All the Way,

I saw you at the party last night. Maybe you saw me, too. No, of course you didn’t. If you had, I wouldn’t be here now, writing this, would I? No, I’d be with you instead, opening your presents, drinking your egg nog. Sounds fun. Really, it does. But we both know there’s no future there. Only pain. The kind of pain that jingles. All the way.

The good times, though…they’re hard to just forget. Arnold…Anakin…Phil Hartman…Tom Hanks’ Wife…and…what’s his name? Oh, yes. Sinbad. Do you think his last name is Sogood? Well, it should be.

I remember when we first met, many moons ago, I thought you’d just be another one-night stand. But I didn’t even stay the whole night, did I? As I crawled through your window, I remember your faint declaration: “You’ll be back.” And I was.

Oh boy, I was. I was, I was, and I was, wasn’t I? What was it about you that compelled me so unexpectedly, so profoundly? It wasn’t just the silly Arnold, cause I’ve been there before. Was it… Ah, hell. I don’t know. Loving you was just so easy. Maybe reasoning is beside the point. Chemistry, right?

I thought you just were what you were. But then you became what you were so much more than you already were. As Arnold looked for his elusive Turbo-Man, I never considered he’d soon become Turbo-Man himself, not only bringing home the toy but embodying the heroic action figure in his son’s yearning eyes. Did you come up with that yourself, or did you get help from James Cameron? Regardless, you made me blush with pleasure. I wouldn’t tell you that then, but I don’t mind telling you now.

Remember that time Sinbad had a bomb, but it wasn’t a bomb because he was just bluffing, but then it really was a bomb because he was incompetent, and Martin Mull’s face was blackened and charred? To this day, I don’t believe I’ve ever laughed harder on the inside. You did that.

Remember when Phil Hartman tried to seduce Arnold and Tom Hanks’ wife? Like most of us in this crazy world, he failed in the end, but not for lack of being Phil Hartman. I still remember crying on your shoulder when I heard the horrible news about Phil Hartman leaving SNL.

How about that wonderful sequence featuring Jim Belushi and a bevy of Santa’s elves? Warming up to funny-Arnold mode only to suddenly win ten minutes of fighting-Arnold mode is just the kind of thing you always loved to do. Midgets are shorter than most people, and you always understood the humor in that. You were always so understanding. Please don’t ever let that go.

I could see you tonight, but it just wouldn’t be the same, would it? No, we are simply no longer in sync. Trust me: it’s not you. It’s me. I’ve changed. Life did it more than anything. I went to college. I got married. I had an Anakin of my own. I always buy his presents early. We both know why.

You made me a better person, no doubt about that. But I out-grew you in the process. I guess the world just looks different when you’re ten years old and fucking retarded.

Merry Christmas