All I Want For Christmas

By Matt Sapp

By Matt Sapp

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is a home playoff game for the Falcons—on a Saturday, please. Sunday games are tough for pastors to get to. I don’t care what you have to do to make it happen. If Tampa Bay has to lose every game for the rest of the year, so be it. If the Panthers need to lose 72-0 on Saturday, I can live with that. If Drew Brees has to throw six interceptions against us two weeks from now, it wouldn’t bother me at all. Do whatever it takes.

I know you can do it. I'm not asking for a first-round bye or a number one seed, just a division title and a home playoff game. Again, preferably on a Saturday.

I’ve been really good this year—even better than Vic Beasley, and not nearly as expensive. I’ve tried all year not to drop anything. I’ve avoided false starts. And that one flag for unsportsmanlike conduct was just a big misunderstanding.

The only thing I’m guilty of holding this year are hopes for a Super Bowl championship.

So if you can just get me a Saturday home playoff game, I would really appreciate it. I’ll forgive Matt Ryan for every bad pass he’s ever thrown—even those fourth quarter, red zone interceptions.

And, I know we shouldn’t hate anyone, so If you can do this one thing for me, I may even forgive Bobby Petrino for quitting on us in the middle of the season. I might even soften my feelings toward the New Orleans ‘Aints. I mean the Saints.

No promises, though. Old habits die hard.

If a home playoff game isn’t possible, I’ll settle for an away playoff game as long as we win it. And if neither of those is possible—or even if they are—I have a few other things on my list, too.

Could you make sure that 2017 is free from hunger and war and hatred and greed? From pride and jealousy and deceitfulness and worry?

Could you banish fear and doubt and sickness and ignorance and sin, too? Along with hurt and loneliness and depression and hopelessness and divorce and violence?  

Could you place a permanent ban on cheating and stealing and lying and idolatry and aimlessness and want and addiction and alcoholism?

Instead, could you replace all that with double doses of fulfillment and peace and kindness and charity and humility? With joy and honesty and serenity?

Could you give everyone an extra measure of courage and confidence and health and knowledge this year? And heaping portions of righteousness and wholeness and companionship? And maybe throw some happiness and optimism and fidelity and compassion into your bag, too. 

And, then, if there's still room in your sleigh, would you make sure that we all have plenty of integrity, generosity and truthfulness?  And enough holiness and purpose and freedom and temperance and faith and hope and love to last the whole year?

Especially love. Maybe even make it a triple measure of love. We need all the love we can get. 

Love endures all things--just like Falcons fans.

And love will cover a multitude of sins—just like Bobby Petrino’s biography!  

Oops. I did it again. That’s the last dig at Bobby Petrino, I promise. At least for this year. 

Thank you in advance. And don’t forget the home playoff game. On a Saturday. Please.

Go Falcons. 

And Merry Christmas.