It never fails.
He has spent millions … perhaps billions … to avoid this very thing. Fact was, there was no way to trace the amount of money Santa has put into creating the image that the entire world knows as St. Nick. The jolly, red-faced white guy with the big beard and the gregarious grin was designed to give warm, fluffy feelings to everyone that loves Christmas. From the beginning, it was imperative to get that image out there, promote it and push it. It actually exploded better than Santa or any of his employees could have imagined. It wasn’t long before the image ended up everywhere. Even today it can be found in every medium imaginable: movies, television, billboards, parades, every single mall on the planet; wherever you went, especially during the holiday, there was Santa Claus. The culture didn’t matter. Over the centuries, so many different versions have evolved. On every continent in every country, there was some iconic form of the myth, and through his many corporations, Santa made sure each image and legend was wholesome and fully endorsed by its society. Ironically, in the end, belief in Santa Claus didn’t require accepting the ideal that Santa even existed. Everyone simply accepted the ideal of Santa itself. And that was enough. It made things so much easier for him.
With the image in place, Santa was free to do what he loved.
Decades, often centuries, could slip by with no event. He would do his work all year long, preparing for the Big Day. Board meetings, travel arrangements to coincide with any specific trip, ensuring toys were prepared to code. Then came the part he longed for: climbing into the suit on Christmas Eve and getting out there, so filled with the joy of giving that Santa couldn’t stop laughing. It never got tired. Or old. Or repetitive. He loved his job.
But no matter how careful he was, at some point there would always be a slip up. Some kid, some kid that absolutely refused to go to sleep, manages to slip into the room, to find Santa at work… And just like that, it’s a done deal. All that hard work to maintain the image threatened in one flash of a peek.
The wife had told him time and time and time again, it’s not worth the risk.
Yet he loves it. It’s not just running the operation. He loves reading the letters and maintaining that list (and he’ll have you know he checks it more than twice, okay?). He loves the travel in that cold night air. Ducking and dodging as someone tries to catch of a glimpse of him. He loves landing on the rooftops and slipping inside the homes and marveling at no matter how many decorations he had seen over the many, many homes he’d entered, they always made him smile. And, more than anything, he loved being the one to make sure each child receives their gift. HE wants to leave it under the tree. HE wants to nibble on the cookies and gulp down the milk. He loves that the children love what he does.
And, of course, that’s why HE had to do it. They love that Santa leaves the gifts. That it’s Santa in the sleigh. Not some imposter, some employer. And it’s simply not the same if he’s not the one actually doing the deed.
It’s just a damned shame that these kids – luv em to death, mind you – insists on continually blowing his game.
There was never really any major fallout though. He’d have to spend a little money to cover a few things up. In the end, there weren’t many that took the child’s story seriously anyway. So, fortunately, nothing major ever resulted that kept Santa out of play for long. Of course, long for him is much different than most. Still, it could sure screw things up for a while.
Anyway, right now, he knows he’ll have to put the fat guy with the beard back on the payroll.