Not So Saintly Nick

by Elin Johnson

Every year on the star filled evening of December 24th, our global community is united in our violation. We are assaulted in the most conniving of ways as our homes lose their sanctity and our very morals are shaken. Good Ol’ Saint Nicholas enters our dwellings and corrupts the minds of our children. His very occupation is appalling. He contravenes the work ethic we try so hard to drill into the minds of our youth and disrespects the beliefs we have established in our society.

Our very relationship with the legendary man in red is perplexing. Every day of the year we shield ourselves from the outside world, turning our backs to the unknown and the magical. We bolt our doors against strangers and curios, our shutters pulled tight to keep us in and them out, whoever they are. On Christmas Eve that all changes. We toss aside our fears and welcome an older man with a sweet tooth into our hearths as if it’s just a normal thing to do. Saint Nick just expects to be let in, assuming he has an all access pass to our most private sanctuaries. As if sliding through chimneys and avoiding front doors is a socially acceptable action. We must think of the dear children. All their young lives they are shown how to knock politely and not track soot and dirt all over someone’s living room. Then here comes a man with unrealistic expectations regarding the size and popularity of chimneys, thrusting himself into any home he pleases like a petty crook, waltzing about as if he owned the place, drinking our egg nogg and crumbing up our couches like some savage dragged in from the cold.

It is important that we raise our children to value hard work and goodness, so that they will develop into responsible cogs for our labor machine. Santa Claus is partly responsible for a two week long break from our children’s educational pursuits. School districts everywhere use this gilded holiday as an excuse to shut off their power and save on their heating bills. This disruption sets our children behind – they should be spending the entire holiday studying diligently and preparing for their inevitable futures as worker bees. Instead of rehearsing math formulas, or studying the exquisite relationship between a subject and a predicate, they are flooded with distracting images of dancing sugar plums. Simply preposterous.

Santa also rewards these children with cheap gifts to honor their good behavior. This is an abomination on many levels. Santa’s proverbial list only perpetrates acceptance of a Big Brother approach to overseeing the private lives of civilians. Where is the Edward Snowden of the North Pole? Also, who is this omnipotent being that has final say in regard to the evaluation of our behaviors? His perspective on our lives cannot possibly be as accurate as he claims due to the sheer mass of our population. There is no one running interference on the big guy – his say is final. This leaves room for personal opinion to play a role in all his decision making. Undoubtedly some make his “nice” list not due to their behavior, but because some of their philosophies parallel his. Those who do maintain his standard of moral excellence are given tokens of his appreciation. This shows our youth that you should only be good if there is a chance of receiving something in return. They should instead be raised to be good constantly, for the benefit of the masses. The social lepers Kris Kringle did not deem worthy of his praise  face the shame of having a lump of coal delivered to their homes. His despicable action demonstrates to tomorrow’s world leaders that we should be wasting non-renewable resources willy-nilly, as if they just sprouted from the ground. His impact on our youth is irreversible and will eventually lead to an economic downfall brought about by the wastefulness and cursory good behavior he has bred.

Father Christmas, with his shiny bribes and lumps of coal, undermines parents abilities to enforce discipline properly by enabling them to slack off. Parents somehow think that they can let the reigns go on their kids, that a simple comment on who might be watching will coerce their unruly children back under their control. This method of discipline only works for a month out of the year at best. How will parents make up for the time that they should have spent teaching reason and discipline? Parents also find it justifiable to glorify diabetes in the Christmas season. They inject their little angels full of sugary treats, as chubby Ol’ Claus demonstrates his adoration of gluttony by demanding offerings of said artery cloggers. Santa season unravels the structure of children’s lives and glazes everything with a superficial sugary coat.

The lack of knowledge about his operations are shady at best. Santa has never once paid taxes. He uses the slave labor of a marginalized mythical group, and forces helpless animals to do all of his heavy lifting. Did anyone ask Donner or Blitzen if they wanted to pull a sleigh full of toys from the sweat shop? Has PETA done any investigation into the ethical treatment of these animals? How does Santa provide a proper diet for these herbivores when he supposedly lives in a perpetual winter? One can only assume that he maintains a greenhouse system year round, producing vegetables chemically tailored to  suit the reindeer’s needs.

The elves are a separate story altogether. These poor depraved souls are forced to work their tiny fingers to the bone producing potentially dangerous toys. Good Mr. Kringle pays no heed to modern-day restrictions on how toys are created. The elves then become unwitting accomplices in the harm of children. Furthermore, what is to protect the elves from coming to  harm in Santa’s workshop? Saintly Santa abides to no building code or minimum wage requirements. Since the elves are not technically human, they are not protected by the Universal Code of Human Rights. Instead they live under tyranny, unable to even unionize to demand fair pay, better working conditions, or bearable hours.

Santa Claus has shown a complete disregard for the ideas that we desire to impart on our children, such as hard work and being good just for the sake of it. He is an obsessive trespasser who mistreats his underlings and flaunts his unhealthy eating habits. His nature is ruining the true spirit of Christmas by stealing Mariah Carey’s thunder. The self-proclaimed Father of Christmas forces his holiday down everyone’s throat, projecting Christmas on to every corner of the globe without a care. Claus’ reputation and our overall acceptance of him has made him too big to fail. He is a lawless man without morals intent on corrupting the minds of our innocent, young, children.


bio pic idea 1

Elin is a lifelong Alaskan with a passion for storytelling and everything outdoors. When she isn’t traveling or at the dance studio, you will most likely spot her between the pages of a book confused as to why she has become so tiny, or forcing her dog to watch the cinematic masterpieces of the 80s and 90s. Elin is always ready for an adventure, especially if there is a chance of karaoke, so don’t be afraid to pick her brain about favorite books or her true feelings about breakfast foods.


  • Isabelle Lada

    I really enjoyed reading this paper. Your title first brought my attention and you did well backing it up in your first paragraph. The style of writing in the rest of the paper worked well for this topic. It is very organized, humorous, and the conclusion does a good job of summing up the displeasing presence of Santa. Thanks for the read.

  • Noah Zimmer

    Santa isn’t real? Oh well. I really enjoy the writing style but I detect a hint of sarcasm. You were able to to take an unrealistic topic and spun it in a web of truth. Continue writing, I look forward to reading more of your work.

  • Keegan Sudkamp-Tostevin

    “The elves are a separate story altogether. These poor depraved souls are forced to work their tiny fingers to the bone producing potentially dangerous toys.” You managed to turn a paper on Santa into a cry for workers rights, animal rights, and hard work… Bravo. Witty and brilliant. One of the best satire bits I’ve seen in a while.

  • Jesse Eisberg

    I really like the tone and style of your writing. It really shows your sarcastic personality. I enjoyed reading this I found it very interesting. Though I do not agree with all of the points, I thought it was well done.

  • Mickey Mann

    Dear Elin,
    I love this essay. It is comical, convincing, and intriguing. I will never put cookies out for the jolly intruder again. Great writing style, I can hear your voice in your writing. It brings up points that I have pushed to the back of my head all my life so thank you for bringing them up. I loved it.
    -Mickey M.

  • Ally Steele

    Elin! With my hate for christmas growing every year Im sure you can imagine my thunder of laughter inside my head while reading this. Your facts and worry for the children and how we raise them and how our world works 364 days a year hiding from magic. “The lack of knowledge about his operations are shady at best. Santa has never once paid taxes.” I like how you put him into a reality when previously ponting out very clearly he is a fantasy. I throughly enjoyed your sarcasm and satirist writing/tone behind the whole thing. I will continue on now to frame this and put it up on my wall. Thanks for the laughter and the read Elin!

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