I experienced an extremely important revelation recently:
I should never be Santa.
I mean it. If by some terrible tragedy Santa falls off my roof and it turns out The Santa Clause is actually a thing and there’s a card in Old St. Nick’s pocket saying, “Yo dawg, put on my jacket!”, I am begging my friends, family and neighbors to keep me the hell away from that coat, because I guarantee that if I put it on and take over for the big guy, Christmas will be ruined forever.
It all started out innocently enough. I was absentmindedly looking at cat pictures on the internet and singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to myself. As one does.
And then, as usual, my brain took it someplace weird.
It was right around, “He’s making a list, checking it twice,” that I started thinking this Santa guy and I have a lot in common. I mean, he’s got a list of how many millions of children demanding gifts? And yet he’s still meticulous enough to double-check the whole goddamn thing to make sure he’s not accidentally giving coal to darling angelic Johnny Smith, who’s kind to his younger sister and always helps his mother around the house, instead of that little shit Johnny Smithe, who likes to set ants on fire with his magnifying glass and breaks things if he can’t have ice cream for every meal.
I mean, I could do that. I am awesome at checking stuff; I’m nothing if not thorough. Hell, even at my current job I refuse to send out even the simplest invoice without obsessively looking it over half a dozen times first to make sure I’ve got all the details right.
In fact, I’m not sure Santa’s list couldn’t do with even more checking. Twice is fine, but third time’s a charm, right? But heck, why stop there? “He’s making a list, checking it nine hundred and seventy-three times…” has a certain ring to it.
If the job description consisted solely of data validation, I would be GREAT at this whole Santa thing.
…okay, admittedly there might be such a thing as too OCD to fill in for the jolly fat man.
Sure, the Naughty list would be accurate six ways from Sunday. But I’m pretty sure the real Santa has never spent his annual sleigh ride fretting constantly over whether he remembered to lock up the North Pole before setting out over the Arctic Ocean.
I can’t even lock my goddamn car in less than 21 steps.
And while we’re being honest over here, I guess I probably wouldn’t be the most efficient deliverer of presents to the whole world on a one-night deadline, however magically extended, if I’m spending half my time at each house sneaking into the kitchen and checking the expiry dates on the milk cartons to make sure they gave out the good shit.
Hey, you only need to accidentally pour sour milk into your tea once before you start getting paranoid about your best befores.
And that’s between hourly calls to the alarm company to confirm nobody’s broken into the workshop while I’m not there to keep an eye on things, not to mention my frequent fits of ornament redistribution and maybe even a bit of light pruning on some of the sorrier-looking trees I come across so that they exhibit better overall balance and symmetry…
…and making sure the gifts are stacked just so under the tree…
…and reorganizing the reindeer…
…and checking their feet for splinters from wooden roof shingles…
…and then reorganizing them again another two or three or ten times…
…all while tallying up all those goddamn cookie calories in MyFitnessPal, a task made a thousand times harder by well-meaning families leaving out pretty china plates of home baked cookies, whose nutrition values you have to estimate based on best guess, rather than just going the lazy route and chucking a couple of easily-loggable store-bought Chips Ahoy onto the table by the fire.
Jesus. This job would be exhausting. I don’t know how the big guy does it.
Oh, wait, I remember: He’s not The Nut.
So to Santa, I say good luck, godspeed, and please don’t die anywhere around my home if you want the future of your organization to remain remotely bright.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!