Santa’s making me nervous


Man, this guy. I know that I cannot be the only single mom grimacing just a little at the idea of lying to her children about an obese 500-year-old man breaking into our home in the middle of the night with presents for them, but only on the condition that they have been “good,” all year long, according to his arbitrary evaluation of their observable actions versus his own, unknowable rubric.

I mean, the whole thing sounds like the narrative on an affidavit of probable cause for a person charged with some real serious kind of felony, if you ask me.

Like, a bad one.

Like, one that gets you automatic state time.

But I’m not in charge, so. Lucky Santa, I guess.

Santa is, like, the B.F. Skinner of major holidays. Children who “behave” get presents. Operant conditioning at its finest. I mean, the schedule of reinforcement presents a particular problem, of course. One shouldn’t be surprised to see the extinction of “good” behavior, come July, with a reinforcement interval of 364 to 1. Also, the desired response – “good behavior” – isn’t really a data set than can be recorded using any standard unit of measure that I’m aware of. It’s subjective. And, like conditions of worth, Santa’s imposition of conditions of present bestowal seems like a direct route to the magical realm of Anxietyland. Maybe Insecurityville, depending on your time zone. In any case, it really seems to me that a standard operational definition of “good behavior” needs to be established here. But far be it from me to criticize a grandiose old man.

But anyway, even if there were some sort of comments and suggestions protocol, I don’t think Santa’s gonna go for that, you guys. Because the guy seems kind of manic.

Anybody else notice this? I mean you never see Santa laying in bed with the curtains drawn and a fifth of Wild Turkey an arms length away, ruminating on the tenuous state of American politics or the oppressive emotional weight of the knowledge of global social injustice being perpetrated at every passing moment. I for one have found no accounts of Santa crying himself to sleep while Sarah McLachlan sings “In the Arms of the Angel” and the ASPCA bombards him with the televised suffering of one million abused, neglected, and apparently very cold kittens the world over.

But, then, he is only active that one night a year.

When he flies around the entire world at an impossible pace.

Giving extravagant gifts to literally every single person on the planet, none of whom he’s ever actually met.

And laughing so hard that his gut shakes like jelly.

And ignoring the fact that he absolutely must be a type II diabetic while he nibbles cookies and swills brandy at every single stop.

And ignoring his own personal safety, not to mention the cardiovascular health of his captive reindeer fleet (whom he allows to verbally abuse one another, legend has it), by flying well above Earth’s stratosphere in a sleigh that doesn’t even have any doors, let alone a roof.

And can we just talk for a minute about how he knows if we’ve been bad or good? I mean, according to his own theme song, he sees us when we’re sleeping. He knows when we’re awake. Either he’s (a) delusional, (b) hallucinating, or (3) he’s a freaking stalker. That’s just really all there is to it.

There are no other explanations, guys. There just aren’t.

And are any of those traits you want in a man who’s going to be entering your residence in the middle of a late December night?

Are they really?

I mean, it’s whatever you’re into I guess. But I feel like the fact that my kid is existentially fearful of the shadows cast onto the shower curtain by the bathroom night light might be at least partly attributable to the fact that I promise to protect her from danger, but then I turn around and let this jolly fat clown come strolling in once a year with no supervision – no one’s ever actually encountered the guy, after all, that we know of – and carte blanche to do as he pleases. Let’s just hope that Santa’s got his mental health on lockdown the rest of the year. Because we’re all set to let him bring us a big screen but what if Santa’s finally lost it completely and all he’s packing in that sack is a modified AR-15 and enough ammunition to really ruin your night?

Don’t get mad at me.

These are questions that really need to be asked.

I’m just thinking ahead here. I mean, he apparently has a wife but she doesn’t appear to be invited on his annual circumnavigation of the planet, so no one’s ever been able to verify that she’s for real and, if so, if she’s alive. Or well.

Know who else allegedly still has a wife that no one’s seen for way too long?

David Miscavige.

And I think some serious questions need to be asked about that guy too.

I’m not saying anything.

I’m just saying.


Santa Claus is coming to town. Whether we like it or not, apparently.

And maybe I’m overreacting, but I for one am a little nervous.