2012: The Year I Don Draper’d Santa Claus
Darius Schwarz Proves that even Santa is no Match for his Swagger.
Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of people. As a chronically cynical adult, I have generally been the embodiment of Charlie Brown leading up to the actual day which I end up enjoying much more than I thought I would.
Despite these often chemical-imbalance-based misgivings, seeing a genuine-looking department store Santa Claus instill false hopes into throngs of children truly stirs up my inner child.
Nostalgia: It’s delicate… but potent.
An enormously popular annual holiday event takes place in cities nationwide to benefit an organization devoted to research and treatment of a chronic health condition. This year I finally had the pleasure of working the event in my city.
The morning was going swimmingly. Brisk weather, a big crowd, Christmas music, great costumes, a downtown square decked out in its holiday best and a department store Santa Claus taking pictures at the photo booth.
The good tidings turned when one of the volunteers grabbed my arm and informed me that Santa was being kind of a douchenozzle. His complaint? Through his own lack of planning, he missed getting in the back of the convertible to promote his store.
Santa was leaning into a girl from the group saying this was a waste of his time, Santa should be at his department store right now, blah, blah, blah. I step in to extract her from the situation, we consult with the event organizer and I am given carte blanche to address Santa’s ruffled white fur.
Returning to the photo booth, I walk up beside him and when he has a moment, lean over and say, “Hey Santa…”
While Santa had the gumption to verbally rip several young women, Santa doesn’t look me in the eye. I continue, “There clearly was a miscommunication somewhere along the line.”
“Dude…” replied the jolly fat man.
I knew then what the deal was.
In a tone striking the perfect balance of diplomacy and “go fuck yourself,” I told him, “While we would love it if you could stay a little longer, you are more than welcome to leave.”
He left post-haste and he took the entire concept of Santa Claus for me with him. While we all know Santa is a fairy tale, I now know Santa Claus is probably a retired carpenter on Medicare who makes Adirondack chairs.