Santa’s 2017 might look worse than yours

This Christmas post is late, but considering the amount of holiday lawn paraphernalia that still remains, I think I’ve made it within the grace period. And if you happen to read this post months after Christmas, or before, depending on your perspective, think of it as the string of lights that has been out for so long that now that all you have to do in December is plug in the hedges.

You think the holidays are over, but we are smack in the middle of a holiday crisis. I debated whether or not to bring it up, because, my gift-receiving ass is on the line here too, just like the rest of you, but as a member of the Nice list for, ahem, let’s say “28 years” now, I feel like I owe it to Santa, even if it puts me on that Other list, to state the ugly truth: Santa is stressed-out AF.  Here’s what North-Pole-Dude is wrestling with:

1. The gross mismanagement of the retail calendar, reinforced by an ad-revenue-driven media. The retail calendar is a hybrid variety that, as best as we can figure, blends the Roman, lunar, and Chinese calendars into a cycle that defies current astronomical thought. This past year, their Halloween lined up with our Labor Day, and their Christmas lined up with our Halloween, and now Valentine’s Day has just begun. This might be ok for us, because it forces us to prepare early, (perhaps as early as one year ahead). But for Santa and his employees it is just a nightmare.

2. Intellectual property restrictions limit what the elves can make.  They can’t MAKE the toys anymore, at least not the modern ones, and most certainly not the “must have” toy of the year. In the late 70’s The North Pole, LLC was almost ruined when Santa had to pay Atari, Milton Bradley, and Mattel separate settlements of undisclosed amounts in order to avoid a large class action patent infringement suit. Sure, if you get a cast iron metal bank or a chess set for Christmas, it was most likely made by elves at the North Pole. But otherwise Santa has become one more distributor for the toy companies. This leaves him feeling “meh” about his whole existence.

3. Overpopulation has made break-neck-pace the new “normal.” Every year, Santa’s workload grows exponentially, while his work day does not. When he was only serving 30 million people, he could keep his outfit in-house at the North Pole. But over the years he has had to outsource the labor to elves all over the world, partly due to workload, but also because of the geographic distribution of his clientele. This has a lot of elves up-in-arms about jobs leaving the North Pole and has created an opportunity for a power-grab by the abominable snowman. And guess what, guys? He’s not a joke.

These realities lead to certain consequences. Santa is subject to the same supply problems we are, and with the wackadoo retail calendar, half the people working for him aren’t even sure which year they’re getting the toys for. Many of the elves have crossed over to the toy giants, claiming that Santa’s outfit stifles innovation, and the 72-reindeer team at the North Pole smells, and Mrs. Claus complains about it all the time. As it turns out, now there are just too many people for Santa to deliver the toys all by himself. He has to contract a lot of the work out to second-rate, inflatable Santas and Frosties, which spend most of the year wadded up in somebody’s attic with no one to talk to. These folks aren’t the most reliable. In fact, you saw them yourself the day after Christmas.

Most of them were passed out, face-down on the lawn.

We’ve all got our hands full at this point in human history, and maybe making the North Pole great again isn’t really a direction we’re comfortable with anyway. But in March when you start hearing Christmas music, think about giving Santa a pass this year. He’s got a lot on his plate.

Patricia A. Powell

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