He does a home invasion on your place at night, performs heroic deeds and then fucks off. No, this is not Batman we’re talking about. I’m talking about Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas if you are British (also known as Christmas if you never had a father).
My five year old boy believes deeply in Santa Claus. He gladly phoned 0800 222 222 this month and recited a list of expenses “someone” would take care of. Know who takes care of his generation’s expenses? The taxpayer, as always.
Does a child’s belief in Santa make their life better? Does Santa teach good values like Neil deGrasse Tyson or Gandhi or Martin Luther King? Not really. Santa is charitable for only 1/365th of the year. Santa endorses Coke. Santa isn’t that good a role model. Besides, any market which operates on Santa-ist economics would simply not be sustainable.
Don’t get me wrong –I love the way he makes kids happy for the first couple of years of life when they’ll believe anything. I just think we should work out a cut-off point before our children get the notion in their heads that they deserve presents when they haven’t done shit. Possibly there be a sit-down intervention at age 6 when we tell them they need to give up expectation and joy and hope and all those bothersome emotions and accept capitalism without subsidies like Obamacare.
Take it from me: I was once a Santa-nista.
In 2014 I was given the privilege of putting on a suit slightly fatter than the real me, plus beard, hat and spectacles and carrying a sack of prezzies into my son’s kindergarten.
The first little c*** who approached me blurted “YOU’RE NOT SANTA,” but once he was disposed of, it was smooth sailing. I sat on a nice seat under a ridiculous South Auckland December sun and one by one the trusting children sat on my knee and we exchanged clichés.
I managed to stretch and recycle my Santa lingo over a whole hour, sounding like a cross between Barney the Dinosaur, Barney Rubble and Barney. I said the following to the squirming, crying kids over and over:
- Merry Christmas
- Some bullshit about Rudolph
- “Have you been a good little boy/girl/non-judgemental gender neutral?”
Midway through the queue of 50 repetitive midgets was my son. He sat on the knee of a fluffy man he believed to be Santa. Santa recited all the above phrases. I asked him what he wanted for Christmas. I suggested that his daddy couldn’t afford a $400 PSP and he should lower his expectations. We hugged, we got photos, then I let him go. He still doesn’t know that his dad was Santa that day.
Abe will be 6 at least before some kid at school reveals the truth about Santa. It’s a hard truth, but if Abe is to grow up and be part of the 99% he needs to know that economic bailouts are not okay. I do like that Santa brings him joy, I’m just saying the only thing Santa seems to teach is that if you whinge hard enough, you will get rewarded. Again, I would rather my child worshipped Gandhi. Or Karl Marx. Now THERE was a guy who distributed wealth equally.