If I were Santa ....

The biggest plus, of course, is the unbridled joy you’d be able to spread with a special sack of presents. In that giving spirit of Christmas, we asked a host of notable Oklahomans, from elected leaders to burlesque performers, sports superstars to drag queens, what they would do if they were Santa. Responses ranged from quirky to thought-provoking, helpful to humorous. —Phil Bacharach

Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton, country music superstar: “I would give everyone in Oklahoma rain.”

Gary England, KWTV Channel 9 meteorologist: “I would give wings to pigs so they could fly, because I like pigs and it would be great fun to watch them come in for landings.”

Patrick Riley, publisher of The Lost Ogle blog: “I’d give Sweet Brown a cold pop or Cardboard Jim Traber the gift of life.”

Romy Owens, artist: “I would give the entire Oklahoma City metro area the gift of widespread, incredibly accessible, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible public transportation because, good grief, we need it sooner than later. Oh, and a train that runs between OKC and Tulsa because — good grief! — it’s ridiculous we don’t have that already!”

Jessica Schambach, KOCO Channel 5 news anchor: “I’d give formula, diapers and baby blankets to Infant Crisis Services. It feeds and clothes more than 65 little ones every day in December. Not to mention, babies are always nice!”

David L. Boren, president of the University of Oklahoma: “I would give scholarships to all young, deserving Oklahomans who need them to be able to afford to go to college.”

Jaime Cerreta, KOKH Channel 25 news anchor: “I’d make sure there were courtside tickets under the tree for every Thunder fan in Oklahoma.”

Kevin Durant
Credit: Shannon Cornman

Kevin Durant, OKC Thunder superstar small forward: “I would give a homeless guy as much money as I can to help him get on his feet. That’d be cool.”

David Broyles, front man for Dr. Pants: “I’d give the guys in Dr. Pants substantial annual salaries so that we could all do it full-time, but that seems selfish. What I really would do is somehow, some way, give everyone the ability to overcome their insecurities — no matter what they may be.”

Carrie Underwood, country music superstar: “I would give more money and tools to schools and teachers all across America because education is so important, yet, so many times, that’s the first thing that suffers when cutbacks are made. Education should be a priority for our future generations to succeed!”

Jonathan Fowler, general manager of Fowler Volkswagen of Norman and arts advocate: “I would give OKC a live music venue that would rival any other in the country, and I’d bring in every Norman Music Festival headliner so far to headline one night each for a week full of concerts that would be free and open to the public.”

Mike Turpen, attorney and political pundit: “I would deliver and nail a large sign at the entrance of the U.S. Congress and the Oklahoma Legislature saying, ‘Check your hat, check your coat, check your ego, and check your party affiliation at the door!’”

Nick Collison, OKC Thunder power forward: “I would give the president and the leaders of Congress a resolution to the fiscal cliff.”

Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth, actress and singer: “I’d give everyone who sat on my lap a bottle of Purell so neither of us gets sick.”

Gov. Mary Fallin: “I’d bring Oklahoma City an NBA title, fix the Capitol building and move my headquarters from the North Pole to Oklahoma (creating thousands of jobs for Oklahomans in the fields of toy manufacturing and package delivery). I’d also work to fight hunger by filling my sleigh with canned food and donating it to food banks throughout Oklahoma.”

Scott Booker, CEO of ACM@UCO and manager for The Flaming Lips: “I would give everyone a new turntable and a copy of the the newly reissued Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The new pressing on 180-gram vinyl is really great. I would also give everyone a copy of Lisa Carver’s book Reaching Out with No Hands: Reconsidering Yoko Ono to
read while listening to the record. I’ve come to admire Yoko and her
art more and more since she has been to Oklahoma. She is a true

Robert Henry, president of Oklahoma City University: “I would give a book on the perils of mountain climbing to Congress and the president — or at least some CliffsNotes.”

Carrie Underwood

Wayne Coyne, front man for The Flaming Lips: “I
would try to remind everyone in OKC that there are so many animals in
desperate need of a family or friend to love them and help them get
through this winter! So, I would give the gift of love for our fellow
creatures, because the true joy of love is in giving it.”

Steve Mason, CEO of Cardinal Engineering: “I’d give every child a safe, loving home.”

Mick Cornett
: “I’d bring all Americans a national energy policy that’s
not dependent on foreign oil. Before someone accuses me of bringing
everyone a lump of coal, I should point out I’m talking about natural
gas and wind-generated electricity: two sources of energy that Oklahoma
has in abundance.”

Rep. James Lankford
: “I would deliver to Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid a budget that the United States Senate could actually pass.”

Keith Paul, president of A Good Egg Dining Group: “I
would give all home cooks my favorite cooking gadget: a 2.5-quart Robo
Coupe Food Processor. This machine takes you to varsity cooking status
overnight: great power and cleanability! Immediately, better soups,
salsas, pestos, etc.”

Jesse Jane

Linda Cavanaugh, KFOR Channel 4 news anchor: “I’d give Wayne Coyne a TSA bus voucher.”

Barry Switzer, legendary former coach of the Oklahoma Sooners and Dallas Cowboys: “I would give a gift to all mankind, and that would be the cure for Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.”

Adéle Wolf, burlesque performer: “I would give young women the gift of self-confidence and positive role models.”

Sen. David Holt
: “I’d give every American voter 15 minutes with Erskine
Bowles and Alan Simpson. Bowles was President Clinton’s chief of staff
and Simpson was a Republican U.S. senator. Together, they chaired the
National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The recipients
of my gift will learn how overwhelming our $16 trillion national debt
is, how it will end American life as we know it, and how the only
solution is a universal sacrifice that must begin now and last decades.
This Christmas gift may sound akin to a pack of socks, but you’ll thank
me later.”

Jane Jayroe, former TV news anchor and Miss America 1967: “I would give everyone a place to call home — a safe spot full of love. Oh, and a Thunder NBA championship would be nice, too.”

Meg Salyer, Ward 6 OKC councilwoman: “I
would give to all of the members of the Oklahoma City Council patience
and wisdom as we work through these early planning phases of the MAPS 3

Mike Turpen

Spencer Hicks, stand-up comedian: “I
would give every citizen in Oklahoma a free sitting at Glamour Shots.
Because everyone should feel beautiful at least once in their life.”

Renee Hilton, drag queen at The Boom: “I
would give the gift of myself. Although I am one person, there is
plenty to go around. From big hair to long eyelashes, Renee Hilton is
full of love and has a loud mouth. I have always devoted myself to
helping others in need.”

Anthony McDermid, principal at TAP Architecture: “I
would give the Oklahoma River the gift of floating casinos. This would
let OKC enjoy a piece of Oklahoma’s second-largest, $4 billion-a-year
industry, create instant riverfront housing demand for low-income casino
workers and gambling seniors, and help fill our largest concentration
of hotels and restaurants on Meridian. And the coup de grâce? A floating convention center in the middle of revenue paradise — wrong place? No worries: We can move it!”

David Holt
Credit: Shannon Cornman

Frank Keating, former governor: “I
would give a bushel of the reddest of red roses to my wife, Cathy, who
this year gave me our 40th year of marriage and partnered with me at the
birth our 10th grandchild. If there ever were a time of joy in the
Keating family, it is this season.”

Russell Claus, Oklahoma City planning director: “I
would offer all my friends in OKC a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to
accompany me on a free guided tour of Australia, so they would
understand why — growing up with venomous snakes around every corner;
large, savage, overdentured
marine and aquatic predators; multiple other creatures that offer up
the most painful death possible; juxtaposed with masses of
large-pouched, skippy things hopping all over the place — that can’t
help but create character, a massively dry wit, and a love of beer.”

Jabee, hip-hop recording artist: “I would buy my mom her own house. I’d have a separate wing for all of her children and grandchildren to stay when we visit.”

Ali Meyer, KFOR Channel 4 morning news anchor: “I would give every child a warm bed and a snuggle each night, so they know they are loved.”

Tracey Zeeck, owner of Bumbershoot PR and children’s museum advocate: “I
would give all metro families and visitors a children’s museum smack in
the middle of downtown. It would be accessible by all so these young
kiddos’ minds and bodies can grow strong, confident and creative in the
shadow of the exciting, expanding OKC skyline.”

Ali Meyer

Burns Hargis, president of Oklahoma State University: “The
first thing I would do is change my Santa suit from red to America’s
brightest orange. Then, to improve our state’s future — and make me
extremely jolly — a college diploma in every student’s stocking.”

Johnathan Kayne, fashion designer and former Project Runway contestant: “I would give OKC the ‘Thunderous’ power to win an NBA championship this year!”

Jesse Jane, adult film star: “I would give the gift of orgasms, so everyone will be happy.”

Matthew Alvin Brown, actor and musician: “I
would shimmy down the chimney of every household in America that had a
copy of a Fun. album. Then, I’d take those Fun. records directly to the
trash bin. I would leave, in its stead, a copy of Portraiture’s debut
record, Real as Ritual. Nathan Siler, an Okie in Brooklyn, has created an art rock masterpiece. RAR is the best music you’ve never heard. Also, I would switch all laws with Colorado: an across-the-board law swap.”

Katie Wicks, ovarian half of the Crystal Vision DJ duo: “I would give Hostess and NASA all the funding they need. Those are the most important things any humans need to survive.”