Dear Mr. Claus,
I'm having a little trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year, dear Santa, and someone suggested that writing you a letter might open up my floodgates to holiday cheer and goodwill towards marauding deer and nibbling rabbits. However, I feel I've got to be truthful to you here at the outset, since I'm, after all, writing Santa, and trying to be good for goodness sake and all. I need to acknowledge that I feel a little awkward writing to you as a gardener searching for Christmas, because, abiding up there at the North Pole, Santa, you're not exactly the patron saint of gardening. I mean, I'm sure you've got a nice warm greenhouse nearby, and I'll bet the elves can create spectacular topiary, and all that reindeer poop must result in some fabulous compost. But I suspect there's not much green in your landscaping and that red roses are hard to come by as a gift for Mrs. Claus. Come to think of it, it is a good thing I don't live near you, because I don't know what I'd do without the roses I grow to help me beg forgiveness for the many trials and tribulations I create for Mrs. ProfessorRoush.
My malaise is probably just that the Kansas skies are clear and blue and the sunshine is overwhelmingly bright, like the August sun except that it doesn't last as long every day. I look outside the windows and I think, "What a nice sunny day to go work in the garden," and then I step outside, and my toes start to blacken and my fingers grow icicles and I remember that Spring is a long time away. A little bit of brief warm wet snow or a few more days of heavy frost would actually go a long way, Santa, towards getting me into that holiday spirit, but I suppose that weather miracles actually are a little beyond your powers and more in the realm of the real Child of Christmas.
I've been a good boy this year, Santa, and I think even Mrs. ProfessorRoush would grudgingly allow that I've tried hard to toe the line of good garden principles and to be a moderately-tolerable husband. I confess that I should have deadheaded a whole lot more and that I didn't get that viburnum moved, and that I should have trimmed back those forsythia last Spring. And I admit that I could have brought more roses inside for Mrs. ProfessorRoush to enjoy and that I could have raised better tomatoes and peppers so that she could make more of her prize salsa. I know you don't like excuses, Santa, but I do feel I did the best I could despite the late Spring freezes and the Summer drought and heat.
So, if you could see fit to sprinkle a little Christmas cheer my way, Santa, I'd appreciate it. I'm not asking for much in the way of presents, maybe a gift certificate from the elves promising they will trim back the roses for me this Spring, or even just a little bottle of cougar urine to repel the rabbits. Or, if you could see fit, a 10X12 foot greenhouse placed just to the south of my vegetable garden would go a long way towards improving my holiday spirit. Just let me know and I'll stake out the area and get the water line run down the hill for it.
Yours truly, ProfessorRoush