Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Bah Humbug! Whatever your feel… The following is a series of 3 stories/letters around Santa Claus and COVID. The original prompts came from a writing soiree at The Sketch School. Trigger Warning: if you are easily offended, click the Back Button now.
The Christmas Wish
Jannie tugged at her mother’s hand, pulling her down the slush filled sidewalk. Mom gave out a sigh and adjusted her mask.
“Come on, Mom! The mailman will be here soon! It has to get to the North Pole on time!”
Her mom looked down at her 5-year-old daughter, also masked.
“Sweetie, I don’t think Santa is going to be coming this year. You can’t go to school. You can’t have friends over. Why do you think Santa is going to be able to come?”
As they passed the 7-11, Jannie noticed a homeless man sitting on the curb. He had long dirty white hair and a full beard and was wearing a Santa cap. In his hand was a sign saying, “Help Santa this season.”
“There he is mom! I can just give him my letter!” Jannie tried to pull her mom, who was unmovable.
“Jannie, that’s not Santa. That’s…”
Jannie dropped her mom’s hand and ran up to the alarmed homeless man.
“Santa! Mom! See? Santa’s not at the North Pole!”
Her mom rushed up to Jannie and grabbed her arm.
“No! I need to give him my letter!”
Jannie wiggled out of her mom’s grasp, stepped closer to the homeless man and threw her letter at him. Her mom grabbed her again and dragged her away.
The homeless man watched the two walk away. He picked up the envelope, opened it, and started to read the letter.
Hi Santa! This is Jannie and I’m 5. I’ve been a good girl and I want a baby doll that pees and extra diapers for it. And a drone thing so I can chase Jimmy next door. He’s a bad boy so don’t bring anything. And a puppy. I don’t have any friends and I need a friend and maybe I can have a puppy. PLEASE?
Mommy says you’re not coming this year because of everyone being sick. I told her that she was wrong and that you were coming, and you are going to come down the chimney. And there will be presents. She said that she’s going to light a fire to make sure you don’t come down the chimney. If you do, you’ll be burned. Don’t come down the Chimney Santa! You’ll die, just like Sugar did and we’ll have to bury you in a box in the yard. She’s still out there. I want her to come back. I know you’re coming Santa; I know it. Mommy is wrong and she’s mean to tell me you’re not coming. I hate Mommy! No, I don’t hate Mommy, I’m a good girl.
You can’t come down the chimney. You have to come in the front door. Mommy locks it so I found the key inside that rock thingy. Here’s the key. You can just come in the front door with my presents. You know my address but here it is to make sure. You’ll come won’t you? With my presents? I know you’ll come.
Thank you, Santa. Your very best good girl,
The homeless man reached into the envelope and pulled out a key. He then reached in and pulled out a piece of red paper with an address written on it, torn from a Christmas Card envelope. He started laughing.
Another homeless man came from around the corner.
“What are you laughing about?”
The homeless man held up the key.
“Our luck has just changed.” He laughed again and then gave an evil smile. “Sometimes Christmas wishes do come true.”
Due to many adverse conditions, I am tendering my resignation effective immediately.
These past thousand years have been a gift. Being able to make gifts for so many deserving children, to know that on this one night, on this one magical night, I’ve been a part of making dreams come true. Working with you and the other elves has been a blessing. I will miss it.
But with the coming of COVID, restrictions have been placed upon us that are degrading, demoralizing and deeply unhealthy.
Mrs. Claus has forced us all to be socially distant and to wear masks. She has put up barriers between all of our workstations and I can’t even see Sloopy Moe Kringlepot clearly anymore. We’re not allowed to hug. Or to get into groups to sing our jingles. I, and many other elves are getting very depressed. And there is no good reason for it.
We are the only ones at the North Pole! If we all test negative, there’s no chance of any of us getting it. It’s not like the children are scampering around running their snot infested fingers all over the doorknobs!
And the masks we are required to wear are so germ proof that we can barely breath. We need to breath to be able to work! And we need to breath in order to sing Christmas songs, which are still required, even though we can barely hear each other and are certainly not singing in 3-part harmony. Production is going down and morale is going down.
Finally, even though you have been trying to keep it hush-hush in order to not disturb production, we notice when elves disappear. Billy Boo Inglepatter and Susie Crème Lollygagger did NOT die of COVID! They died of suffocation due to being forced to sing Jingle Bells for 3 hours straight in their masks! And Duffy Deedee Doobie did NOT take a position at the South Pole! He committed suicide due to lack of touch and connection! He was our biggest hugger! You can’t lie to us!
Your lack of leadership and your lack of understanding of the situation has made the North Pole a toxic place to work. Although I believe in the work, am committed to it, I will not die for it. And I’m not alone.
I pray that you find enlightenment and rectify the situation here at the North Pole. And even as I wish you well, you must know… You have been a very, very, naughty boy.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter. Yours (not anymore),
Cheesy Goo Wrinklehead (Elf First Class)
For thousands of years, I’ve shimmied down the chimneys of many very good girls and boys. With the exception of a few burned rear ends, the chimneys have always been easy to get down, especially after Mrs. Santa made my souper douper special Santa shrinking suit.
But now, there’s COVID. Not only is COVID nudging me out of the spotlight, and we are going to have a throw down about that real soon, but Mrs. Claus is insisting that I wear a mask. I told her that my beard and mustache are healthy and very, very fluffy. I’m good. But no, she said I have to take care of all of those relatively good girls and boys and wear a full body mask.
She says it’s easy to put on and that I will still feel that chimney as I traverse its depths. So, I step into it and slowly roll it up my body. It conforms to me! It fits me like a glove! I can still move, for the most part. I’ll be able to give my gifts to all those questionable girls and boys on my list.
But then, as I was checking the reindeers’ harnesses, the wind picked up suddenly and threw me against the sleigh hard.
My full body mask broke. I’m no longer safe. Just going to the first house might give me COVID. What do I do, Dear Diary? Should I tell Mrs. Claus? No! She would make me cancel and I need to get out of here. I can’t wait until next year, I can’t.
I looked over my lists of those who were good, and those who naughty, and thought. “Well, I’ll just have to visit only the naughty ones this year.”
<whip cracks> On Dancer!