Some drop a little hint: "I'd like my family to write to me and call me more often," says a septuagenarian in Eugene, Ore. Others drop a big hint: "My wife not to talk to other men" would be the ideal Christmas gift for a man in Gary, Ind. In that vein, "A new husband," says a married (at last report) woman on New York's Long Island. Headed the other way, "I'd like to have my wife back," says a man in Tulsa, Okla. And an older man in Cleveland, Ohio, would much appreciate "a 53-year-old blond."
People would like better health -- help with infirmity or disease, "a cure for epilepsy," "transplant surgery," "my mother's breast cancer to go away." For less pressing medical needs: "My wrinkles burned off." (Ouch.) Others, more generally, hope for "good health and a long life," "peace and prosperity," "peace of mind" and, simply, "forgiveness."
Hard-to-fill orders? "I'd like to be 25 years old again," says a 70-year-old in Worcester, Mass. A man in Dubuque, Iowa, wants "a Republican president." Easy to fill ones? How about a 14-inch mill file ($7.95 online), "a King James Bible on DVD" ($39.99), "a 16-gig flash drive," ($77), "a new snowboard," and not just any sweater, but "a beautiful sweater."
The list goes on, as varied as the country itself. Some aim high, some low. In the end, it seems, there's just one hard-and-fast rule: Keep it to the limit as you pass through San Antonio -- even on Christmas. "No breaks," says state patrol spokesman Jason Reyes. "If it was Santa Claus himself going 15 over, he'd get a ticket, too."
METHODOLOGY -- This ABC News poll was conducted by telephone Nov. 12-16, 2008, among a random national sample of 1,002 adults. The results have a 3-point error margin. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.