Why do people still insist on telling their kids that Santa is real? Why don’t people think it’s creepy to tell their kids that Santa watches them while they sleep?

—North-Pole Truther

Happy Festivus, NPT:

Oh don’t get me fucking started on Santa Claus. I don’t know what I hate more about the Santa myth. Is it how inextricably bound Santa is with forcing behavioral normativity onto children? (Here’s a mind-blow for you: being “good” is actually just “acting in a way that is convenient to adults,” and adults, for the most part, are assholes.) Is it how cruelly capitalistic and class-unaware Santa is? (Oh, sorry, poor kid in class, I guess you were “bad” while Chet the rich little shit who gives you a swirlie every morning just scored an entire Best Buy! Welcome to fucking capitalism!) Is it the blatant disregard for the space-time continnum? Is it that Mrs. Claus is forced into a life of domestic servitude? 

Last year we did Christmas in Arizona with my in-laws and another family they’re tight with, and that family didn’t schlep 9 Toys R Usses to Arizona so the presents that “Santa” brought were modest, whereas my daughter’s grandmother had so many gifts for her that it required four ancillary Christmases to dispatch with them all, and this poor little 7-year-old girl was reduced to tears, like, Wait, was I not good? Does Santa not love me? and I was like We are really fucking doing this right now? I was prevented from dropping the truth onto that sweet, wise little child by relatives more concerned with “preserving the [classist, heteropatriarchal] magic of Christmas,” and I regret it. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the family, a few years ago my niece and nephew’s cousin (so, like, my second cousin-in-law or some such?), who was five at the time, somehow deduced that his presents didn’t come “from Santa,” they came “from Amazon,” and on the night before Christmas he requested (AND WAS GRANTED) the obliteration of a Santa-shaped piñata, after which he hoisted Santa’s disembodied head atop a stick and paraded around with it, a la Lord of the Flies. The irony of this, of course, is that Amazon really does see us when we’re asleep and awake and everything in between, and doesn’t give a fuck if we’re good or bad as long as we keep renewing Prime — and by and large, we’re cool with it.