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To whom it may concern, 

My name is Kris Kringle, and for the last couple hundred years I, and to a lesser extent, alcohol, have been the one giving your Christmas any semblance of holiday cheer. Yes, contrary to what your parents or your friends or common sense tell you, I do actually exist. I don’t live well, but I certainly am real. I want to clear up a number things on what, I suppose, is my last day on the job. Why the Mayans couldn’t have scheduled this earlier in the year is beyond me. But they did, and for some reason a lot of people believe the end is coming, and I figure that it’s bound to happen sometime in the future. In anticipation, I want to record my life and my history for the world to read.

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I was born in the early 19th century in a coal mine in England. It was a dark time, in those days, and child labor laws were extremely nonexistent. And so I began working the very next day, mining coal and developing a deep hatred for it and most children, who ridiculed me for being a little fat baby. I know, I know, you’re wondering how a newborn could possibly have the upper body strength to lift a coal pick, let alone work for 20 hours a day everyday for very little money. The answer, of course, is that people simply didn’t live that long back then, and they grew up very quickly. My oldest grandmother was 12, and she’d already begun to lose her teeth, if memory serves. Well, every single day the children would mock me and my spindly baby arms, calling me a “bieber”, a tremendously offensive slur at the time for infants with low upper body strength. But I grinned and bore it, and plotted my revenge. I began to keep a list, of those who were nice to me and those who were not. And finally, when our one day off arrived, on the 25th of December, I would give the nice people food and penicillium, which was an old, you-still-might-die version of penicillin, and the naughty ones massive lumps of coal, placed covertly in their pockets. You may wonder how that would be suitable revenge, but consider this: the 25th was the only time we were allowed to leave the coal mines and breath real air once again, unless the coal mine guards caught you smuggling coal. And they always checked pockets. I still remember that stricken look on those naughty ones’ faces as they were dragged back into the dark of the coal mines for another whole year. It still fills my heart with festive laughter. Ho ho ho, indeed. I was three years old the first time I pulled it off.

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I eventually escaped the coal mines, at the age of six, in the winter, climbing through the unspeakable horrors of one of the chimneys to freedom. I ran for ages through the snow until I was able to steal a sleigh someone had left lying around. Attached were a number of reindeer, who sped me north to the great white unknown. Weeks went by as we traveled north, and food was dangerously low. Eventually the reindeer began to eat one another, until only one was left, one monster of a animal whose nose was permanently stained red with the blood and viscera of his reindeer brethren. I named him Rudolph, and we became fast friends from then on. After countless months of travel through the expansive Northern Wastes, I came across a small village of elves. My tiny child mind could scarcely believe they were real, these magic folk. But there they were, and they took Rudolph and I in, and fed us, and clothed us, and gave us a special concoction of immortality they named “Gin and Tonic”, the inferior version of which so many of you drink and take for granted every day. Soon, however, on my tenth birthday, I couldn’t help but notice just how efficient these elves were, making in mere minutes what it would take men months to do. And so, I began to enslave them. I had smuggled a pouch of opium from the coal mines and decided to get them all addicted to it, smearing the opium in a white swirl around a small, red, cane-shaped candy the elves loved so much. Soon they couldn’t get enough of the drug and came to me for more. They were hooked. And I took advantage of that to help win the annual North Pole Village elections, becoming the Mayor. No sooner had I taken office that I changed the law and named myself “Claus”, the elvish word for dictator. Some of the more loyal, strung-out elves called me their saint, their “Santa”, and I accepted both titles happily. I was ten years old.

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Three years later, I met my wife for the first time. She’d been toiling away in the Elvish Coal Mines and emerged, looking crestfallen and sad, and I asked her out on a date. And since I was the dictator, she had no choice but to say yes. We had a great date, though it was a bit tense when she asked for her freedom and I asked her to marry me. Once again, being the dictator, she had no choice but to accept my proposal, and several long, loveless years of marriage followed. We have never consummated our marriage. As I found out much too late, elves have no genitals, and reproduce through a mixture of good intentions, candy, and snow. The years were hell on us, though we did eventually adopt Rudolph into our family. A few months after our union, we received word from one of most trusted elves, Jack Frost, that our large vats of cheer dust and goodwill syrup were dangerously low. He was referring, in both cases, to opium. The elves were beginning to miss the stuff, and though it had taken several years for their small elven bodies to go through the amount I’d smuggled out of England, the day I’d feared had finally come. On opium, the elves were somber and docile. Who knew what would happen when they came down off their collective high? I feared for my safety. I decided to journey back into the world, on a sleigh, pulled by my trusted friend Rudolph. Years of North Pole Gin and Tonic had given him a remarkable bit of pep to his step and he could now fly. And we did, and arrived back in England within only a few hours. I quickly armed myself with the trusted musket Mrs. Claus had given me on my 12th birthday and raided an opium den, spiriting away a massive amount of the substance in the sleigh, for the waiting veins of my minions. On the way back, however, the sheer weight of the sleigh proved exhausting for Rudolph and he crashed several miles from home in a nearby snowbank. My legs were entirely broken in the fall, and Rudolph lost an antler but we were otherwise well. I sent my friend back to the Village for help and soon passed out in the cold, surrounded by several pounds of opium. I was fourteen years old.

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My injury soon made me an opium addict, and the many months of healing and recuperating had made me obese. I hated myself. Utterly so. One day however, one of my elves gave me a letter from a small child. When I asked how the child possibly got the letter to the middle of North Pole, in a secret village, the elf replied with some idiotic drivel about the magic of hope and the Spirit of Christmas. His insolence earned him another year in the coal mines. It also intrigued me, and I read the letter, from one Abraham Lincoln, thanking me for slaying the coven of vampires that hid in the opium den I had raided earlier that year. Apparently the vampires had slain the boy’s father and then escaped to England and he’d ached for revenge everyday since, revenge I had unintentionally delivered. The little boy then had the nerve to ask me for a wooden stake with which to fight off the creatures of the night. Amused and bored and fat, I relished the chance to do something new and told my elves to get to work crafting an unbreakable stake. I got on my sleigh, pulled once more by Rudolph, and after learning from last time, several more reindeer I’d convinced my friend not to eat. We left the night of the 24th of December and soon arrived in a log cabin in Kentucky, just in time to help the young Lincoln fend off a small group of vampires. Then something odd happened. Abe Lincoln thanked me. No one had ever done that before, and his genuine gratitude and admiration proved to be a stronger drug than even opium, one that lasted about an entire year with every dose, and I became addicted. From that night on, I happily answered the call annually, trusting in Abe to spread the word of how to summon me to his friends and family. Every year the number of requests grew, and the dose of gratitude grew with it. And so I became Santa Claus, ordering my elves to craft amazing toys and presents in exchange for maintaining my…Holiday Cheer. And, remembering the list I kept in my youth of the naughty and the nice, I kept track of the nice and the mean, after discovering that dickish gratitude tasted disgusting. I gave them coal instead, as a warning. And life has been good indeed. I am 212 years old today.

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This has been my life. The life of a coal mining baby. Of a tyrant. Of an addict. Of a Santa Claus. And if the world must end tomorrow, I’d like for you all to know the true story of how I came to be today.

 

Ho Ho Ho,

Santa

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