He Doesn’t Know If You’ve Been Bad or Good

Santa is at the mall. He poses with children. I have a child. She looks cute in red sweaters. Her parents are ambivalent about Santa. This is kind of where we are, right now?

1. Santa was a lot of fun, and it did not actually bum me out a lot when I found out, and I was damn near twenty.

2. Some kids do not get Christmas presents from Santa because their parents do not have any money, and then they go to school and other kids have presents from Santa.

3. A bunch of kids are Jewish. A bunch of kids are Muslim. Those kids generally still manage to have imaginations and the spirit of youthful vigor in their hearts, and are not immediately taken to the Lowell mills at the age of two.

4. If you decide NOT to do Santa, you are kind of just switching the burden of deception onto your kids, because people will go crazy on them if they do not play along with the others, which sometimes does involve flat-out lying, even though Santa may not be a “lie” per se.

5. WHAT is this Elf on the Shelf thing? It seems to have happened overnight, but now everyone seems to do it? Parallels include bikini waxing and casting Jessica Chastain, not that either of those things are necessarily un-good?

6. There’s an internet now, so good luck with everything. It’s not like olden times, when you had to write insipid letters to newspapers and get smarmy answers. Google: “santa real?”

7. How is this different from religion? I mean in terms of “oh, we don’t do that, but you do you.” That seems to work fine for religion, but gets super-controversial with Santa. Can you just say “what do YOU think?” incessantly?

8. A woman in a comment section once said: “I am not busting my ass working two jobs to afford presents and then giving credit to a made-up white man.” Speaking of, do you just do one gift from Santa, or all of them from Santa?

9. If, in general, the entirety of your spiritual conviction is watching “The Muppet Christmas Carol” six times a year and then smiling beatifically at everyone you meet for the next week, will it all just take care of itself?

10. It must be really shitty for specifically non-Christian teachers to have to play along every year, especially when that part of the year begins at the end of October now, and especially if you teach kids at the cusp age for “waaaaaaait a minute,” and especially if you’re a little hungover and just want to explain about didgeridoos or whatever your lesson plan was. And then maybe you accidentally end up on Fox News with a grinch hat superimposed on your aching head?

11. What happens if it becomes a series of escalating one-ups? “Oh, Jimmy’s parents leave cookies for Santa and then they find crumbs the next day!” “Jimmy’s parents showed him reindeer hoofprints on their roof!” “Jimmy got a six-page single-spaced letter back from Santa telling him why he was the best little boy in town!” “Jimmy gave me a funny cigarette and now you have to take time away from Google Image searching Sean Bean to attend a meeting.”

12. Eh, whatever, we’ll probably just do it.