I know, it sounds a bit harsh. Maybe more than a bit harsh. I can understand how people might react with horror to a denunciation of Santa Claus this strong, this resolute, this final. Death to Santa.
I’m not calling for his rehabilitation. I’m not suggesting he needs to be put in his proper place. I don’t want him to lose weight, or go vegan, or sober up, recognize the Elves union, diversify his workforce, or even start publicly acknowledging the crucial role Mrs. Claus must surely play in this frenetically overblown and elongated HellaHoliday we call Christmas. We are, in my view, beyond rehab. Santa Claus must die.
Why, you may be asking yourself, from within a shocked state of horrified bewilderment. Why, oh dear God in Heaven, please, why? Why must Santa die?
Because the guy has ruined Christmas, that’s why. He’s out of control. He’s run amok for so long that people don’t even realize the profoundly malignant influence he wields over their lives. He so thoroughly overshadows every other cultural icon or religious figure associated with the holiday that their influence barely ranges from the marginal to the negligible, while his grows larger and more ominous by the year.
When’s the last time you walked into the mall and saw Tiny Tim limping around on his crutch, chirping “God bless us everyone! “ Huh? Or how about the Grinch and his heart grown three sizes larger? You don’t see the two of them patiently working their way through a line of children, dispensing themes of generosity and gratitude to the tots, while their increasingly irritated and exhausted parents look around frantically for a coffee-shop or a martini bar. No, you get Santa merrily eliciting, out loud, roughly how much money those kids expect those tortured parents to cough up by December 25th.
Let’s get real. Tiny Tim gets an annual two hour run on cable TV during prime time, if he’s lucky. The best the Grinch could do is a Jim Carrey feature film remake haphazardly adapted from the original 1968 animated Christmas special. Ebeneezer Scrooge? Frosty? Rudolph? Charlie Brown’s Linus, adorable with his blanket, and wisdom, and thumb in his mouth? They’re all backbenchers.
They each get an hour or two of public exposure once a year. Santa probably gets more airtime in TV commercials alone than the rest of them put together. He’s selling everything from cars, to beer, to cookies, to breakfast cereal, to crockpots, clothes and shaving cream, and everything in between. It makes you wonder if Mrs. Claus is really Alice Walton.
Plus he’s in the walkways of all the malls, inside the stores inside the malls, and at office Christmas parties, on postcards, lawn displays, billboards, digital ads, and rent-a Santa’s. Let that sink in a minute. You. Can. Rent. One. You can’t get away from him. I know, I’ve tried. Unless you plan to spend the rest of the Christmas season in an ironclad, airtight deprivation chamber, you WILL have to deal with Santa Claus, and he most certainly WILL deal with you.
He’ll unsustainably overload your credit card. Or he’ll exponentially increase your loan balance, and inflate the deleterious effects of, your 34% interest rate at Paycheck Loans One Stop. He’ll unsustainably overload your calorie count. You’ll start to look like him. He’ll make you punch a stranger at Walmart. He’ll make that stranger punch back.
He’ll relentlessly chip away at the fragile fabric of your seasonal psyche until every Santa sighting, every song, every bulb, tree, wreath, garish light display, ribbon, bow, and Santa-esque spangled gift packaging box elicits a visceral revulsion against all that is false, hollow and just plain sad about Christmas.
And where is the Baby Jesus in all of this? The guy who, ostensibly, inspired the whole damn Christmas thing? You know, Mary, Joseph, Wise men, Myrrh, whatever the hell that is? No room at the Inn? It’s his birthday, remember? The Prince of Peace? That guy? How’s he faring against the roly poly, red bellied marauder from the Arctic?
He’s getting his behind kicked. Name me one famous Christmas movie that stars Jesus. Just one. I googled “ famous Christmas movies “ and beyond the obvious selections like “ It’s A Wonderful Life” “ A Christmas Carol “ “ Miracle on 34th St “ and “ White Christmas “, I also got “ Scrooged” “ Home Alone “ and even “ Die Hard “. You’re far more likely to get Bruce Willis than Jesus on the silver screen at Christmastime. Merry yippie ki-yay, yuletide mofo!
And every December 24th, the North American Aerospace Defense Command ( NORAD ), turns it’s extraordinary tracking capabilities to the night sky as the sun sets across America. Are they looking for the Star of Bethlehem, the birth of the Christ child, or a white winged dove about to descend upon the Earth to usher in a thousand year reign of peace?
No, they’re tracking Santa Claus, who’s flying overhead with a great big bag of cheap crap made by sweatshop laboring Elves who work in the north freakin’ pole. If they were willing to scramble a couple of F-16 fighter jets in response I could definitely stomach the cost to the taxpayers, but they’re not. They’re promoting the guy!
I’ve had enough. I can’t take it anymore. I can’t take one more year of this mind blistering, soul numbing, nerve wracking, Holidazzling, jingle-belled, package wrapping, tree trimming, egg nog swilling pandemonium fest called Christmas, which is designed to do little other than tax our brains, jangle our nerves and drain our collective wallets. Enough!
Say it with me. You can do it. Santa must die. Death to Santa!