New Column on Santa Claus Reform

Because I am a Very Serious Writer who Writes About Serious Business. Bah, humbug, etc.

My big regret with this piece is the lack of clarity in the line “He was being cruel,” which was meant to be a continuation of my sister’s (non-quotationed) string of accusations, but comes off ambiguously as though I might be accusing my father of being cruel. That is not my take on the situation AT ALL. I am extra anxious about this because, since I had to call him to confirm for my editors that he is OK with me using the anecdote and is not going to sue me or the Pitt News, he asked if I could send him the story in a rare exception to the “Dad doesn’t want to read my columns, and I don’t want him to” rule. As that rule might suggest, our relationship has been pretty rocky in the past, and while it’s a lot better now, I still expect him to be extra sensitive to perceived negative characterization of him in the piece. Whyyyyy did I think last night that I was too cool for quotation marks…

Anyway. Here’s why the rewards of the Santa Claus game as it’s currently played are not worth the price of teaching your kids that you are a lying liarface.

It was thus that my appreciation for “Rise of the Guardians” was impossibly tainted by my growing resentment for all stories that not only show Jack Frost and the Tooth Fairy as real, but depict terrible consequences — fairies dying pathetic deaths, Santa Claus deciding not to bother with Christmas this year — brought about by kids who don’t believe anymore. What self-defeating propaganda. Either these stories are produced by people who don’t have children, or the way these tales compound the difficulty of explaining the truth to kids is lost on those whose kids aren’t sobbing, autistic 20-somethings.

In any case, one thing has become increasingly obvious to me: There must be a better way to do this Santa Claus thing.

Rethinking Santa


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