Santa reveals his true personality in a series of no-holds-barred tell-all interviews.
Interviewer’s Note: As another Christmas has passed, I’d like to share some highlights from my private talks with St. Nicholas himself. These no-holds-barred tell-all interviews took place over three days last February, after the Christmas Gift Return Season was over and before the Broken Toy Refund Season had begun. What follows are Santa’s actual words, edited slightly for style and grammar.
[Interviewer’s Subnote: As used below, quote marks represent either the actual words of third parties or air quotes, which Santa used a lot … though he often ended with a flourish that looked like a flying reindeer. Ellipses generally identify deleted words but may also indicate a pause or stuck period key.]
Santa in His Own Words
No, I’m definitely NOT dreaming of a White Christmas. I didn’t even “used to know” them: I grew up in L.A. and prefer a warm snow-less Christmas. A one-horse open sleigh gets damned cold when it’s snowing out – not to mention during a Christmas Eve global gift ride!
I don’t just check that “naughty-and-nice” list twice: The 2018 FTC consent decree, following the 2017 hacking incident, requires 4 checks… It’s a drag, of course, but it avoids having a lot of deceased kids mysteriously appearing on the gift rolls…
Clearly, composers don’t always get it right. I did NOT kiss mommy underneath the mistletoe that night. It was a friendly hug, nothing more. And that “two front teeth” thing is just a song: I never gave any kid more than one front tooth for Christmas (plus molars and canines).
Johnny Marks also got it wrong: His real name is Randolph, and his nose is more magenta than red.
You know what’s “beginning to look a lot like Christmas”? Thanksgiving. Enough with the lights and trees in November. Wait a few weeks, goddammit. (Can I say that?)
Most people don’t know that the song originally began “Chipmunks roasting on an open fire.” (I think the composers had something against Alvin.) But Nat King Cole, who was vegan at the time, objected, so Mel and Bob rewrote the opening.
Do not call them “elves,” or even “helpers.” They prefer “little people.” For the record, I’ve always paid my little people well over minimum wage, even the ones getting college credits, who my lawyers say I could treat as unpaid interns.
Guess what? Macy’s does tell Gimbels, including its pricing and discount policies. I learned that filming “Miracle on 34th Street.” But they can’t publicize it because of antitrust laws.
No, I don’t actually speak Dutch – my mom is Turkish and my dad from Poland – but one of the cameramen told me how to say “Come sit on my lap and twerk, sweetie” in Dutch, so that’s what I tell the girl. Fortunately, she couldn’t speak Dutch either. We both had to memorize the first few lines of “Sinterklaas Kapoentje,” which means something like “Santa, you little rascal.” Hahaha. I am Santa and I approve this message. Hahaha.
Most people don’t know that Clement Moore interviewed me before writing “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” The “bowl full of jelly” line was an inside joke: I’d told him I just had my first colonoscopy and that one of the few things I could eat during prep was Jello. It turned out I really loved the stuff and was eating a bowl when he arrived at the factory. He said something clever; I started to laugh then shake; and he decided to poke a little fun at it …
During colonoscopy prep you can also have chicken broth. My dad’s mother, who is Jewish, made me a batch, hoping I’d prefer it to Jello. I didn’t. But because of grandma I could have spoken to that little “Dutch” girl in Yiddish. That’s why I’m so ecumenical. Christian, Jewish, Muslim, whatever: if you have a chimney and put up a tree or stockings, you’re getting a gift! (Returns and exchanges? Of course. Who do you think invented the gift receipt? I still get royalties from Amazon.)
Speaking of gifts, originally I was going to put them under pillows. But one of my marketing guys leaked it, and the next thing you know the Tooth Fairy is doing it. I sued her, but couldn’t prove she hadn’t come up with the idea herself. So 5 years of litigation, crazy legal fees … and I’m still stuck coming down chimneys. Still, I guess it worked out: I couldn’t exactly fit a Hot Wheels under a pillow, could I?
They make it sound simple, but knowing when kids have been bad or good supposes a moral absolutism I don’t ascribe to. In the old days I adopted a Kantian approach; but now I’m more of a Rule-Utilitarian … which means that, before I can call an action bad or good, I have to identify the rule that would provide the greatest happiness to the greatest number. Then I have to apply it to 2 billion children worldwide on a daily basis. So enough with the flip “he knows when they’ve been bad or good,” for goodness sakes!
Those MeToo accusations were so unfair. The mistletoe incident was completely consensual. Maybe I got a little too friendly with some of our female elves – I mean “little ladies” – but it was innocent; that’s just what it was like then: If a white, privileged, 1700-year-old factory owner didn’t pinch an ass or two, the gals would think he was snooty or didn’t like their looks. But I know better now. Hey, here’s one for the Rule-Utilitarians: If a woman says, “I simply must go,” don’t keep insisting, “But baby, it’s cold outside.”
I’m pretty sensitive about my weight. I’ve struggled with obesity since high school, finally had success with Noom, and still have to watch all these fat men standing on street corners impersonating me, while they beg pedestrians for dimes and dollars. Can’t someone write a song about a thin Santa who’s not a schnorrer?