December 19, 2014
The average American family buys one or two presents for their kids and leaves the rest up to Santa. An informal survey I did among friends and coworkers comes up with 10% bought by parents and 90% made by Saint Nicholas. This may have made sense back when toys were defined as a wooden car for boys and a cloth doll for girls, but now that we”re giving boys a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Secret Sewer Lair Playset and girls the Step2 Lil” Chef’s Gourmet Kitchen, it’s time to rethink the formula.
We need to stop letting the North Pole manufacture our presents. It’s a charity we do not need; worse, it’s a charity that is hurting us.
It’s not like Santa employs anyone. He doesn”t use tool and die factories to cast his plastic. His elves have never heard of injection molds or guide pins. Santa’s workshop uses hocus-pocus to make the toys and then inexplicably sticks a Lego logo on the box at the last minute. There is no licensing for these products, and none of the companies whose toys he bootlegs make one red cent. In the name of benevolence, he is robbing brands of their goodwill and flushing our GDP down the toilet.
As it stands now, Americans are planning to spend more than $600 billion on Christmas this year. That’s about $2,000 per person. Assuming this represents only the 10% of Christmas that isn”t Santa-subsidized, Americans would be willing to pay up to $20,000 per person without him.
It’s a stupefying number, especially when you realize the median American salary is only $50,000. We”re told Americans are getting more stingy with their money as the economy worsens, but it appears they”d be willing to forgo a little less than half their annual salary for one day of the year.
If parents bought 100% of the presents, the economy would get kazammed with a $6.32-trillion-dollar boon. All of a sudden our $18 trillion debt seems a little more manageable. Assuming Canada and Britain engage in similar behavior, they”d be looking at about an extra $1.8 trillion and $3.6 trillion respectively. All these big numbers for just one letter: the letter to Santa.
I”m not saying we should abolish the tradition of Santa Claus. I love the guy and his kooky visits as much as my kids do. In fact, I”m surprised more Jews don”t take him up on the offer. It’s not like he’s dressed as Jesus.
All I”m saying is, having him come by your house is magic enough. Let him leave candies in the kids” stockings, or maybe some kind of glowing rock that maintains its heat year-round. It could be a different thing every year. What about a salamander? We could leave the tree undecorated and he could make it light up with a splash from his elven wand.
I don”t fucking know. He’s the magic guy. Think of something, Santa.
Instead of a massive list of what children want, Santa letters should be an update on everything the kids have done that year, closing with a brief “Thank you in advance for the surprise.” We may want him to bring us all our presents, but we don”t need him to.
Besides, it seems awfully base that someone with his history and supernatural powers is wasting his time copying mortals” toys. The elves can”t possibly enjoy assembling the talking parts of a T-Pain microphone or stitching in the hair of those Monster High sluts. You might as well have Zeus update your Facebook status or play Dance Dance Revolution with a Minotaur. WWJD? Would he like the idea that we”re using demigods as present machines when we”re perfectly capable of paying for the gifts ourselves?