[Note: the slideshows here use flash. If it doesn't work reliably though, I'll switch it to a standard list of links. If it DOESN'T work for you, leave a comment!]
I've been pretty good this year. Unless you count that thing (which isn't illegal in all states) or that one day (which would have worked out fine if I had just figured the ballistics out correctly). Technically, I didn't permanently harm anyone this year, so I'd say I had a good year overall and deserve something more than coal.
So, this is what I want, in order of decreasing expense. I'd prefer you go higher up on the list if you can, but I understand that your elves work hard and have limited time. I omitted those items not related to photography, because after all, I've been waiting for a big screen TV forever...
- A nice long telephoto (400mm or greater) so I can get some decent pictures of birds (approx $1000). Doesn't have to be super fast (F/5.6 is plenty) as long as the quality and sharpness is good. But I should rule out a mirror lens; I've heard they don't work too well. I'd be happy to take a used lens in good condition, but even a used lens can cost more than $700. I've presented the lenses I like in an Amazon slide show below, but don't forget about the used market (like a Sigma AF 400mm f/5.6 HSM APO macro). And don't worry Santa, I'd let you borrow it for late night elf surveillance (trust me, you don't want to know what they do when you aren't looking).
- A good, fast macro lens in the telephoto range (around 100mm) (approx $500). I love doing macros so much this is definitely something I hope to get soon (or as soon as I get some money). Pretty much any of the following will do nicely, although I have a preference for the Canon, then the Tamron:
- A Holga 120N. Yes, a Holga. (approx $30) I've been getting a bit of nostalgia for the days of film and the little bit of time I spent in the darkroom in high school. I love the retro images these toy cameras make, even though they are technically quite crappy, and I love that they have options like a flash shoe. And, it'd be a great way to learn medium format photography and some simple film developing. And Santa, they aren't too hard to find, check: Amazon, Holgamods, B&H (probably my recommendation). I'm fully willing to do the necessary mods myself, but if you could throw in a few rolls of B&W film (and maybe a spool of color) that'd be perfect!