It was a few weeks before Christmas. A little boy was on his way to the mall with his mother. The boy was excited because this was the first time he would meet Santa. He was looking forward to telling Santa what he wanted for Christmas, but he couldn’t decide. “Mom, what should I ask Santa for?” The boy’s mother didn’t want to answer his question. After all, part of the fun of visiting Santa is seeing what your child wishes for. She replied, “Think about what you want more than anything else, but don’t tell anyone except Santa.” The boy stared out the car window in deep thought as his mind ran wild with ideas.
Before long, the boy was waiting in line to sit on Santa’s lap. He overheard the kids in front of him wishing for video games and various technology. The boy suspected his wish was going to be unlike any other wish that Santa had received. He briefly considering changing his wish, but he decided not to. He had already made up his mind.
The boy and his mother were called over to Santa. The boy sat on Santa’s knee and divulged his wish. He whispered in Santa’s ear, “I want new rankings for the-elite.net.” Santa smiled and nodded politely. The boy continued, “I want players to be able to update their times and have the rankings updated immediately… I want the rankings to always be up to date…” The boy stared into space as his mind raced with ideas. “I want each player to have their own single profile, even if they play both games… I want to be able to look at any player and see all their times, points and ranks in one place…” The boy’s requests started becoming more and more outragous, but Santa still patiently listened. “I want streaming videos that play straight from the world record table… I want an achievement system…”
The boy’s mother was standing nearby and was starting to feel rather embarassed about her son’s ridiculous requests. “That’s enough,” she said, but the boy was not finished. “I want to be able to compare times between players… I want to be able to search a player’s complete PR history… I want all times stored eternally with the date they were achieved and their videos.”
The boy’s mother apologized to Santa, picked up the boy from his knee and started carrying him away. The boy struggled futily to escape his mother’s grasp while calling out, “I want the in-game stage thumbnails to show on the rankings and stage pages! I want an interactive worldwide map of where all the players live! I want NTSC/PAL rankings and Rare rankings all handled by the one system!” By now the boy’s mother had carried him out of view of Santa. There was no point continuing.
During the trip home, the boy couldn’t think of anything else. Would his wishes be granted? Would Santa deliver? Were his requests reasonable or even possible? Immediately after arriving home, the boy went straight to the computer and searched for statistics on how many Santa wishes were granted. His heart sank as he read story after story of children who had wished for one thing and gotten something completely different. It was as if the Santa they revealed their wishes to was a completely different Santa to the one who gave them their presents. The boy was almost certain his wishes were not going to be granted. He wanted to erase the day’s events from his memory and pretend it didn’t happen, but he couldn’t.
Finally, Christmas Day arrived. Beep beep! Beep beep! Like every Christmas, the boy’s alarm woke him at some ungodly hour of the morning. The boy raced to his computer and logged on to the-elite.net to check the rankings. This was it, the moment he’d been waiting for. Had Santa delivered? The boy loaded the rankings and… frowned as the same old rankings appeared on his screen. Oh well. Disappointed, he stumbled out of his room to wake the rest of his family so they could open their presents.
The present opening went just like any other Christmas. He’d open a present, find it’s something he didn’t particularly want, thank the person who gave it to him and put it aside. Repeat until all the presents have been opened. Eventually the living room was a mess of wrapping paper. All the presents had been opened. The boy hadn’t received anything worth noting. He was about to leave the room when he noticed a small envelope behind the Christmas tree. It must have been missed earlier.
The boy picked up the envelope and found it was addressed to him. He turned it over. On the back were the words “From Santa”. Curiously, the boy opened the envelope and pulled out the contents. It was a card. The boy opened the card. The inside of the card was void of any writing except for a short phrase written in the center: