Hi there. My name is Evan P Schneider — from Colorado. You might remember me from a letter I once wrote asking you for a ferret, a striped one with little spotted feet. I was going to name him Emilius. Remember? It was probably 1983 or ‘84? I guess it doesn’t matter, though, because I got stilts that year instead. Yeah, stilts. What was I going to do with stilts, Nick — can I call you Nick? Anyway, that’s behind us now and I’ve decided to try my hand at this again — you know, asking you for a little something special this season.

So here goes: I would really like a party for Christmas this year. Not a really big one, but a little soiree for a few close friends at my house where people sip red, soft wine and chat about important things at first, like politics and literature, but then, as we have more wine and cider, and maybe some special Christmas brew, we talk instead of things we did as children in public where everyone saw us pick our nose. You know, that type of party: a simple, almost cocktail party, but for Christmas and the New Year.

I hate to be picky, taking up your time like this, but if it’s not too much to ask, I was wondering if you might make that party without carpet stains. I’m not sure you remember what my living room looked like last year when you tip-toed in Christmas morning, but, wow, not so pretty, Nick, not pretty at all. I thought our evening had wrapped itself up quite nicely — guests donning their nice coats, walking lightly through the snow to their cars to snuggle at home, peppermint schnapps in their belly, Christmas on their minds. But people kept coming, people I didn’t even know, into the wee hours of the morning, spilling and yelling, ranting and panting. That was an $800 security deposit that vanished like your red rear up the chimney.

You probably throw a lot of shindigs up there at your place, so you know what it’s like. But that’s not really what I want this year. Just a small, intimate gathering where people feel nice, look nice, maybe even smell nice. That’s all. No loud music that’s 80% bass, but slow, acoustic, Christmas-like music that people can pace themselves with through conversations and libations.

Could you maybe (again, only if you’re not too busy), possibly make copies of this letter and send it to some of the people on your list who would be interested in attending such festivities? I thought it would be a bit much to ask for friends, too, this season, so anyone who meets your criteria will be fine. I’m not in any position to be particular, so just nice people who might like me.

Evan P Schneider