Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Open Letter

Dearest Department Store Santa:

I want to start off by making it perfectly clear that I understand that your job is difficult.

I know, I know - lots of people act like they get it. They pretend to sympathize with just how hard it is to be you, never having walked a mile through your "sno"-covered hell! But I am not like the others, Santa! I really do understand -- because for five years running, I worked every holiday season as a costumed elf, helping my very own Santa listen to the cares, woes, and materialistic demands of hordes of hideous little boys and girls. So Santy, I've felt your pain.
I know that children puke on you regularly. I get that it's hard to be merry when you are having to pose with some kid's pet ferret. I've felt the sting first-hand of that 15-year-old kid who outweighs you by forty pounds jumping on your lap, only to make obscene gestures as you pose with him, completely ignoring your query about whether or not he's been a good boy this year. Santa, you're not gonna find more empathy for you anywhere - but, dude, I gotta say, I took my kid to see you yesterday at the mall and I have a few helpful suggestions:
  • OK, the first tip is actually from my mom. She feels your outfit was incomplete without a Santa hat. (You might already be aware of this note, as Mom grumbled quite loudly after our interaction with you, "We don't like you, Santa...AND GET A HAT!")
  • Next - your Santa's Wonderland (tm) policy that bans me from taking pictures with my own camera, while understandable, perhaps would be easier to swallow if not delivered by your greeter with the implied threat of physical violence. It's not real Christmasy.
  • My final note is really the most important. Santa, I realize that when the blond Easter European lady in front of us demanded that she and her gigantic Ukranian husband be allowed to sit on your lap with their dog (the oddly named "Lovely Blackie") you were probably desperately in need of a well-earned break. But when you attempted, as a result, to shut down the line, thus asking the girl behind us in line, who was BLIND, to wait for an additional hour for a photo with you, I had to conclude that you are THE WORST SANTA EVER! Fortunately for all involved, as your nervous elves attempted to explain to the girl's tearful mother that "Santa really needed to go feed his reindeer..." you seemed to sense the crowd turning on you. There was a palpable feeling in the air that the assembled group of mothers might, in fact, be willing to beat Santa senseless in in front of their own children if you did not have a change of heart. And so you posed with the little girl before shuffling off in a huff, returning my call of "Bye, Santa!" with an angry glare. Come on, Santa, totally not cool.

In conclusion, I am sympathetic to your plight, Mr. Kringle. But please, don't shoot daggers at me from behind your whimsical round glasses OR be mean to blind children because it makes you suck as a Santa (and also, quite possibly, as a person) and puts a real damper of the whole "Christmas Merriment" vibe we're going for when we choose to take our children to the mall to have them photographed with you.

That is all, Santa. Hope this advice has been useful, and most importantly, have a really nice Christmas and don't forget that Hawaiian vacation I asked for!


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