Skeptic's Annotated Santa
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- His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
This Christmas, millions of children will be anxiously awaiting the annual visit from Santa Claus. They were good all year just so Santa could bring them exactly what they asked for. Most will write letters and mail them to the North Pole. Many will even wait in line for what seems like an eternity just to sit on his lap and talk to him in person. When Christmas morning finally arrives, their little eyes will light up brighter than the Griswolds' house when they tear off the wrapping paper and see that Santa delivered on his promise. All the joy of childhood and its simple innocence is summed up in one amazing moment.
This needs to stop.
Let me tell you a story. When I was a little boy, I wanted a bicycle more than anything. Unfortunately, my dad was a drunk and frequently unemployed. My only hope was Kris Kringle. I wrote him letters begging for a bike. For years, my wish went ungranted. Until one Christmas morning, I ran into the living room and saw a large present "from Santa." I'll give you a moment to guess what it was. Time's up. A bike!
A pink, girl's bike.
As it so happened, my old man stole the bike from the girl next door just to make me happy. It wasn't until the neighbors found out and threatened to call the police that the bike was returned. However, my dad let me ride it one more time around the block before I had to give it back. That very day I fell off the bike, cracked my skull on the concrete, and was put into a coma for 3 months. I almost died. But that's a story for another time. The important thing is that I found out the truth about Santa Claus.
Once I was out of the hospital and back in school, I told a bunch of kids at my lunch table the truth: There is no Santa Claus. It's your parents playing a trick on you. And you know something? It felt good. Really good. I felt smart for knowing this, and, more importantly, I felt superior. Soon I told everyone in my grade that Santa wasn't real. It didn't end there. When I got into higher grades, I told the much younger kids that Santa was imaginary every chance I got. The looks on their faces when they were about to break into tears was priceless. Those were my cherished Christmas memories.
Decades later, I'm still happily destroying Santa for children. Sometimes I'll go to the mall and whisper into little kids' ears, "Hey, pull his beard when you get up there."
(Well, at least I used to. The fat-ass mall "cops" won't let me near children anymore.)
It's my ultimate dream that the Santa Claus legend will be exposed to the masses. Hence, we turn to the origin of the American Santa phenomenon: The beloved poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas," better known as "The Night Before Christmas," written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823. One of the most famous pieces of Christmas literature, nothing pleases me more than to ruin it for everyone. I've taken the liberty to post the entire poem online with my awesome, witty commentary.
We adults cannot continue to promote this stupid myth. It's harmful. It causes cracked skulls and comas. The time has come for children to stop believing in fantasies and face the cold, harsh, lying world ahead of them. Ho ho ho.
"A Visit from St. Nicholas" epitomizes the ridiculousness of Santa Claus. I placed notes aside the poem highlighting all the stupid parts, because chances are you're too hung-over from your holiday "eggnog" to study it yourself. These cute little colorful icons will help:
Now, I consider myself a good sport, and since the poem doesn't totally suck, I have a "thumbs up" icon for all the good stuff:
Enough of this stalling. On to the damn poem...