As the clock nears that final hour until the presses begin rolling, ole' Santa Barr is faced with that annual dilemma - how to be funnier than Stephen Thomas when writing his Christmas column.
While Stephen attempts to find humor with the holiday or the central figure of that particular holiday, Santa Barr tries to look much deeper into the situation.
Of course, that's hard to do when Santa Barr begins his column a couple of hours before presstime and Stephen normally writes at a relaxing pace that consumes several days.
Be that as it may, let's look into the bag and see what Santa Barr can pull out for some local officials -- all of whom have a really great sense of humor.
To Interim School Superintendent Keith Davis -- a big eraser.
Not that Keith needs to correct any mistakes on his work. He just needs to erase that 'interim' part of his superintendent title.
The final verdict won't be known until later this spring.
Of course, if he doesn't get the job, ole' Santa Barr probably has a few gifts he can exchange that eraser for.
To Bullitt County Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts -- a proclamation for surviving the first year of office. Admitting that it has been a learning experience, here's hoping that she will enjoy the next year even more.
To jailer Danny Fackler -- a new car and a couple of new vans to transport the federal prisoners who may soon be housed in the jail.
And, of course, another truckload of business cards. You never can have enough campaign cards.
To County Clerk Kevin Mooney and PVA administrator Bruce Johnson -- a moving van.
If all the renovation plans come true, they will both receive more space in the annex.
Of course, they must share the van with planning and zoning, code enforcement, drug task force, EMA, EMS and parks and recreation -- all slated to relocate.
To Shepherdsville mayor Sherman Tinnell -- a year of peace and tranquility.
To Mount Washington mayor Joetta Calhoun -- a year without a controversial vote.
To Lebanon Junction mayor Butch Sweat -- a lot of jobs created by new light industrial warehouses.
To Hillview mayor Jim Eadens -- another big year of economic development.
To Hebron Estates mayor Jerry Clark, Fox Chase mayor Alice White, Pioneer Village mayor Gary Hatcher and Hunters Hollow mayor Linda Parker -- some paving from the county and speed humps for all.
To members of Bullitt Fiscal Court -- a bigger clock so meetings don't last for five or six hours.
To members of the Bullitt County Public School Board -- same as above.
Plus, let's have a firm bus route plan that all can agree upon even when those parents are calling your cell phone.
And, hoping that dirt is finally broken on any or all of the three elementary schools.
To Nichols Elementary parents -- Moving to the top of the facility planning priority list for any renovations.
To voters in Shepherdsville -- ponchos to protect yourself from the mudslinging during the spring primary election.
To students in Bullitt County -- a reason to care about the CATS tests.
To EDA leader Bob Fouts -- Call waiting. It is hoped that the industrial and commercial prospects continue their interest in locating in Bullitt County.
To the Bullitt County Joint Planning Commission -- a magic wand to finally complete the revision of the regulations. It is hoped the work would be done before the turn of the next decade.
To the federal government -- a memory loss so that they forget about the storm water requirements that could eventually bankrupt cities and counties.
To the motorists of Beech Grove Road, Highway 44 and Highway 61 (among others) -- hope that something will eventually be done to provide some relief.
To the Bullitt Central baseball and softball players -- a bus that is always full of fuel because they will do a lot of traveling this spring.
To voters -- some creditable candidates to select as the next president of the United States.
To the military troops -- some hope for a safe, quick return home.
To Gov. Steve Beshear -- a plan for that casino boat in the middle of the Salt River.
To Sheriff Donnie Tinnell -- more officers and less crime.
To Shepherdsville police chief Doug Puckett -- a long honeymoon period in his new position.
To residents along East Blue Lick Road -- answers to their questions.
To Jim Boswell, Dr. Dan Ash and all the supporters of the community college -- great news (and lots of money) from the General Assembly for the Bullitt County facility on Highway 245.
To the remaining three fire districts at odds over territories -- An answer that everyone can accept and follow. (I think I delivered this one last year. Worked for a few of the districts but not for all.)
To the Bullitt County Drug Task Force -- invisible cars to make their jobs easier as they continue to pursue the bad guys who are bringing drugs into the community.
To the Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce -- a continued mission to take a stand on issues that affect the community.
To realtors, homebuilders, contractors and all others who benefit from housing sales -- a return to a better economy and for the base relocation at Fort Knox to hurry up and happen.
To all elected officials -- a course in how to better communicate with one another and with the public. Big, big gift item that should be left under every Christmas tree.
Well, I think the bag is empty and my time is up.
In his old age, Santa Barr is becoming less humorous and more practical, although my sports buddy Mike Farner would say I've never been funny.
As the big day approaches, my final wish is for each and every one of you to have a happy and blessed holiday. May you get all you need and even the things you want this Christmas season.
Here's hoping your 2008 will be a bright and prosperous time. Merry Christmas to all and to all good reading.