Just say, "No, no, no!" to the "Ho, ho, ho!"
May I point out the obvious? "Santa" has the same letters as "Satan." Coincidence? I think not... but I digress.
Would it be possible to banish Santa? Would anyone like to join me in creating a proposition for the next California ballot? After all, as California goes, so goes the rest of the nation. We might be able to close our borders to this hick called Nick. We can call it the "No Nick, He's Sick" proposition. Who the heck needs Santa's crass, red velvet upholstered fat ass anyway?! What a symbol of controversy and contentiousness he is. Santa embodies some of the most divisive and damaging issues that we as a modern society face in America: sexism, illegal immigration, smuggling, child abuse, smoking, drunk driving and obesity.
He oughta be outlawed because, as far as I can tell, he is an undocumented worker! I want to see his work permit! Where the heck is Lou Dobbs when we actually need him? Who the hell says Santa can cross borders with over-worked, under-fed and possibly endangered reindeer? I don't see any righteous vigilante groups making sure he doesn't come into our airspace. Oh, no, my friends. That's because the anti-immigration people are not biased against alcoholic-tobacco-second-hand-smoke-spewing-fat white men because well, let's face it -- for many of them, looking at Santa is like looking in the mirror.
Ordinarily, I come down on the liberal -- almost libertarian -- "live and let live" side of things. I try to steer clear of the culture wars radical right wingers so enjoy whipping up. But when it comes to hypocrisy, Santa takes the cake... or in his case, the cookies. He's the biggest threat to the real spirit of Christmas that exists. He is emblematic of the gimme, gimme, gimme, materialistic culture that many of us are increasingly concerned about.
I must say I am completely flummoxed over the flap that certain religious groups make over saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Some of the indignant ultra-conservative Christians even cry "Take back Christmas!" Some people have loudly voiced their displeasure that the use of the word "holidays" includes Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Winter Solstice celebrations, and claim that by saying "Happy Holidays" the spirit of Christmas is polluted. But I say lay the blame where blame really lies: "Take back Christmas from Santa!" Let's face it: Santa has taken over Christmas and -- horror of horrors -- he's a Papist! Any fundamentalist Christian knows that Catholicism is not a "true" religion and Santa Claus is just a cover-up for Saint Nicholas!
As you can probably tell by now, I've never cared for Santa, not even a little bit. When my elder sister, 7 years my senior, thought she was going to ruin Christmas for me by saying on the sly "There's no such thing as Santa," I responded with, "Hallelujah! I hope he's dead!" He was creepy and gave me bad dreams.
My confusion over Santa's character was not my fault. Who was he to be judging good and bad children? He seemed to be utterly bad! That red face and red nose? Jolly? These are checklist items for chronic alcoholism. On the one hand, my parents exhorted me to never, ever talk to strangers, and yet Santa was the strangest person I'd ever met, let alone spoken with. So not only was I thrust upon his lap at some department store so he could breathe his nasty, alcohol laced-breath on me, I was supposed to let him know what my fondest wishes were? Yikes! And those whiskers and his hands on me, bouncing me and taking pictures? Eeewww.
Child safety issues aside, I also felt enormous grief over the obviously enslaved elves that worked in his factory. They made toys 24/7 and I'm sure weren't even paid a living wage. How did that make me feel accepting toys, knowing they were made on the backs of children, some even shorter than I was?
And what's with the "Ho, ho, ho!" bit? Talk about sexist, loutish behavior. No wonder Mrs. Claus doesn't ride along with him in his drunken, loud forays into the night. Imagine her humiliation over his flying above the rooftops screaming for hookers! How does that make the street walkers feel? He certainly is not a good role model for our children. Ho, ho, ho, indeed.
I say, "Instead of 'ho, ho, ho,' I say 'no, no, no' to Santa." Really. What does he teach us by example? Let's examine this: Christmas is all about gifts and delivery; it's OK for little children to sit on the lap of a man they've never met if he's in a shopping mall; it's OK to be loud and rude if you have a big bag of gifts; breaking into homes through fireplaces is fine behavior; being dangerously obese gets you on cards, decorations and in movies; it's OK to smuggle expensive items in bags; public drunkenness and smoking is acceptable; it's OK to exploit short people in workshops, etc., etc. Do we really want a holiday -- oops, I mean, CHRISTMAS -- to trot out such a bad role model?
I say, No, no, no!
Oh yes... Happy Holidays. ☺
This piece originally ran, in a slightly different form, in the Pasadena Weekly, where Ellen is a regular columnist.
I've started a Facebook group called "Santa Stinks"; if you feel the way I do (and I know you're out there), I invite you to join. You'll no longer have to feel alone and isolated in your hatred of all things Santa. Free yourself this Christmas, and join the Resistance!