It's Christmas Eve, and I know what you're thinking.
Too late. Santa's departed, the post office is closed, Victoria's Secret has left the building and you're out of Amazon points. But always remember: It's the thought that counts. And so here are some gift ideas for those who matter most.
The Springfield Park District: Praise. More than ever, parks have been sanctuaries, and they've looked immaculate despite everything.
The Springfield City Council: Ambien. Long meetings were bad enough before pandemic forced folks to breathe on each other while listening to the usual.
City Water, Light and Power: A lump of coal to keep lights on.
Illinois Republicans: Someone better than Bruce Rauner in 2022 and straight faces while they watch Democrats implode.
Bureaucrats: Longer lunch breaks so they'll have something other than coronavirus to blame for stuff not getting done.
The homeless: Steel Reserve for the thirsty and a shot for those ready to move on.
White Oaks Mall: An all-you-can-eat buffet in a supersized food court for coming hordes of state employees.
Economic development efforts: $1 billion, because hundreds of thousands of dollars hasn't been enough.
Michael Madigan: A tenured professorship at the Harry Houdini College of Impossible Escapes
Gov. JB Pritzker: Thirty-six hours to a day. He'll need it during the coming legislative session.
Tim Timoney: Decorum.
Justin Fowler: A Pulitzer Prize.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum: A director who'll last longer than three years and won't embarrass the place.
Adam Lopez: A solid trial date, because this has gone on long enough. Oh, wait: That's what we got him last year.
Springfield School District 186: A real first day of school.
St. John's Hospital and Memorial Medical Center: Less coronavirus.
Restaurants with multiple tickets for coronavirus-related violations: Footage of hospitalized COVID patients streamed into dining rooms.
Sangamon County Department of Public Health: Backbone to shut down repeat scofflaws and keep 'em shut down until we've all been vaccinated.
Restaurants that followed the rules: More business than they can handle when this is over.
Ward 2 Ald. Shawn "I Never Said That" Gregory: A rifle plus membership to a gun club so that he might learn to shoot straight.
Illinois cannabis industry: Owners who aren't white.
Architects of Illinois' pot legalization law: New jobs.
Mister Rogers: Reincarnation. The world, where so many have acted like children, could use his wisdom now.
Donald Trump: Happy trails.
Joe Biden: Good luck.
Contact Bruce Rushton at firstname.lastname@example.org