Monday, December 12, 2016

A Child's Letter From The North Pole

Dear CHILD,

Merry Christmas! This letter fulfills all of the obligations created when your parents remitted $11 to the North Pole Communications Coalition for procurement of our Silver Package especially for you.

The Silver Package is a very thoughtful Christmas gift, though not quite as thoughtful as the Gold or Platinum package. It must have been very important for your folks to save a few dollars considering that instead of a personal note from the North Pole you're getting a mimeographed sheet from a guy who graduated from Cal State Northridge. And instead of us actually addressing you by name we'll be calling you CHILD from here on.

Anyway, CHILD, this is Marv, Santa's Community Outreach Coordinator to New York, Maine and Vermont. Hopefully you find it exciting to receive a communication from somebody who may not be one of Santa's employees but could be a independent contractor depending on how the courts decide. Sure, maybe it isn't as exciting as a note from a reindeer (Platinum package) or an elf (Gold package), but thanks to me not a single focus group on the Eastern seaboard has ever run short on muffins.

I'd like to tell you that Santa has read your letter and can't wait to visit you in person. Unfortunately, that's not part of this package. I am allowed to say that Santa has been given your note, though at the present time it's wedged between sixteen unopened Citibank statements and three subscription-renewal requests from SMITHSONIAN magazine.

I'd also like to say that Santa thanks you for your generous offer of milk and cookies, but in his own words, "I ain't eatin' no cheapskate food." After all, if your folks won't fork over three extra bucks for a Genuine North Pole postage stamp and a "Santa, Stop Here!" window sticker, what guarantee does he have that your mom won't use cheap-ass slice-and-bake cookie dough? That she won't use lard instead of butter? That she won't swap out expensive shit like pecans for moldy-ass raisins? The Santa that I know would say thanks, but, you know, why don't you just feed that shit to the dog?

Anyway, the good news is, we would like to inform you that you are provisionally off the naughty list. You would have made it onto the Nice List, but your dad would rather ruin your life than downgrade for a day to Pabst Blue Ribbon. So you spend the next few weeks laying in bed, staring at the ceiling and wondering whether you'll be showing your friends a newborn Hatchimal or a corduroy jacket from Sears. For nearly six minutes your dad can drink without thinking, "Holy God, what kind of shit is this?"

Instead of getting a note that looks like actual old-man handwriting with a genuine reindeer footprint on it, you're getting a letter on the paper you dry your hands with in the bathroom at WalMart, printed by daisy wheel. Instead of getting personalized content like, "Hello BILLY OWENS! Santa can't wait to leave presents for you at 1712 BAY RIDGE DRIVE!" your letter says "Hello CHILD! Santa can't wait to leave presents for you at UNKNOWN LOCATION!"

Other upgrades in the Gold and Platinum packages are a candy cane made by the elves, genuine reindeer food, and an autographed photo of Rudolf. But three bucks doesn't grow on trees, and Mom's been dying to smell that Vanilla Walnut Glade.

I believe I have contractually fulfilled all the provisions of this offer so I'll close now. And please don't blame your parents for this letter ending with "Best regards, Marv" instead of "With all my love, SANTA CLAUS!" After all, they put a roof over your head. It's just too bad it's not one that reindeer will be touching any time soon.

Best regards,
Marv