Santa was heard saying, “On Dasher, on Dancer, on Coughy, on Wheezy! On Comet, and Cupid, Fatigue, and Diseasey!”
Photo by Sharon Roth
As the end of the year draws near, the hopes of children across the world for a normal holiday season have once again been dashed. This Monday, Kris Kringle, better known as Santa Claus, announced that Christmas was cancelled due to an outbreak of COVID-19 amongst the elven workshops.
“I don’t take this decision lightly, but the fight against COVID-19 has become unmanageable,” Kringle began. “We had to cut an entire production line dedicated to the PS5 and Xbox Series X to make face masks for our workers, and even then, we couldn’t stop this deadly disease. Heck, we even tried to use Rudolph’s red nose as a disinfecting light, but all it did was cause eyestrain. It is with a heavy heart, and less-than-jolly disposition, that I’m announcing that I won’t be able to perform my usual holiday rounds this year, for the sake of myself, my wife, and my workers. Plus, the elves are hundreds of years old, so the ones that are still alive are super high-risk.”
The decision was met with anguish from many across the globe. “This year has already been such a shitshow,” an anonymous parent declared, consoling their daughter as she screamed for the fifth straight hour. “I was praying to God that we’d be able to catch a break, and that for once, I’d be able to see genuine happiness in the eyes of my daughter, but instead, I had to tell her that Christmas was canceled. Then she started going on and on about how it was her fault Christmas was canceled because she didn’t floss every day, and she’s been like this ever since.”
However, others responded with anger, blaming Kringle for his previous disregard for workplace safety. The President of INTERPOL, Karl Meisterberger, released a statement shortly after Kringle’s announcement, stating that while he “appreciated the caution being taken by the North Pole,” it was too little, too late. “One might remember that back in 2015, Mr. Kringle got into trouble after an INTERPOL investigatory unit unveiled hellish working conditions at his workshop, including 14 hour days in uncomfortable uniforms with minimal breaks, an insistence on manual labor instead of machine labor, and a continuous loop of Lou Monte’s ‘Dominick the Donkey’ played via loudspeaker at all times. While I can’t comment on whether or not those conditions still exist in Mr. Kringle’s workshop, the fact of the matter is that Christmas may have been saved if Mr. Kringle responded with proper COVID-19 precautions early on in this pandemic. Improving his sweatshop-like conditions also probably would have helped too.”
Regardless of Kringle’s previous action or inaction, production on toys has ground to a halt in the North Pole. The latest figures out of Santa’s Workshop, where production was already down 30 percent, show only isolated pockets of elves tinkering away out of boredom. Sales of items related to Kringle’s arrival, such as cookies, milk, and carrots for his reindeer, have also plummeted. The saddest sight of all, however, was Santa pouring himself a tall glass of eggnog and brandy, slowly sighing, “I guess nobody will see me kissing any mommies this year.”