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Dear Santa,

How are you doing? I hope you've had a successful year and have come up with a lot of interesting toys. It's really neat how you're able to do that year after year. I guess that's how you stay number one in the Christmas presents business business.

Actually, I admire the way you run Christmas. You really have a handle on it. You find out what people want (with letters like this and having kids tell you in person), and then you make the presents and control how they are delivered. It's an impressive operation.

I also like how you've got it to where when somebody says "Christmas presents," people automatically think Santa Claus. What a marketing advantage. Best of all, even though you're a huge success, people still don't know much about your private life. It's just rumors. That's so neat.

I think being at the North Pole helps. That was a good move. For example, when you're designing toys, only your elves know what you're doing, and you're way up there where nobody can spy on you and steal your ideas. And even if they do, you can always just let it out that you're making the same stuff to bring to people for free, so why would they buy the other guy's stuff?

Also, other people who make Christmas presents can't deliver them like you can. Yours is the only sleigh on the distribution highway. You must get some great discounts from them, because if they don't play ball you can just refuse to give out their presents. Very Sharp.

What I don't get is why you give away stuff. That's the dumbest idea I've ever heard. I admit, it's why you're number one - who could compete with a deal like that? But it must make it hard to stay in business, especially when you have to visit every kid in the world. You have to keep growing or fail.

Here's an idea on how you can help finance your operation: Give everybody at least one present at Christmas, then you could make batteries and sell them the rest of the year. It would create a demand: You give people something and then sell them what they need to make it work.

Another thing, about you coming down the chimney. That's so slow and inefficient. And what about all the people who don't have chimneys? Santa. I have one word for you--windows. Everybody has windows.

That's about all I have to say. You're probably wondering if I was good or bad this year, but I don't really like to talk about my personal life, if that's O.K. (Just out of curiosity: When you were a boy, did any of the other kids call you a nerd?) Anyway, I don't really have anything to ask for. Mostly I think up something to play with and then build it myself. I guess I'm sort of like you--I make my own toys.

Best of luck,
Billy Gates


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