The Sins of St. Nick: Ho Ho No Nos

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How binary of you, Santa. –Illustration by Kate Feiffer

Upon studying patterns of behavior at the North Pole, a group of Islanders has concluded that Santa Claus, a jolly symbol of Christmas — beloved by children and grownups alike — is a terrible example for the socially conscious 21st century. Below are a few of the transgressions the group outlined as problematic:

Wearing fur: Not sure what those cuffs, that trim, and the jaunty fuzzy ball atop his classic red hat are made from, but we’re guessing polar bear — an endangered species, by the way. Shame on you, Santa.Mistreatment of animals: Not only does jolly old St. Nick breed and maintain beasts of burden, he also uses his whip quite freely, and clearly pushes his reindeer well beyond their natural limits of endurance. Come on, PETA — get on this abuser’s case!

Subjugation of women: Surely she has a first name, but do you know what it is? No one does. Santa insists on referring to his wife as simply Mrs. Claus. The implication? She’s his “property.”

Child labor: He claims they’re elves, but we think it’s clear that Claus is employing an underage staff disguised as height-challenged adults. And Scrooge’s got nothing on Father Christmas, who forces his laborers to work overtime on Christmas Eve.

Promoting an unhealthy lifestyle: Santa’s “bowl full of jelly” puts him at risk for a number of life-threatening medical conditions. Not only does he seem proud of his obesity, Mr. Kringle encourages others to support his unhealthy eating habits by expecting children to provide him with endless glasses of milk and plates of cookies.

Discouraging individuality: The jolly red man insists on classifying children according to two neat, all-encompassing categories: “naughty” or “nice,” ignoring personality distinctions and subtleties of character. If you want toys, better take your Prozac, kiddies!

In the end, you’re not so nice yourself, Santa! How about some coal in that stocking? (Not that we would re-gift fossil fuels.)