Santa will be here any day and it got me thinking about the trials and tribulations he faces these days compared to the good old days when being Kris Kringle was a piece of cake.
However, major changes in society and technology have made his job a hell of a lot more complicated than it used to be. So I thought I’d run it down for you and offer up the top 5 reasons Santa’s job is hard today.
1. Strict FAA and Airline Regulations
The most obvious complication can be found in Santa’s main mode of transportation. Long gone are the days he could just chug a couple glasses of egg nog, hop in the sleigh, and then sit back and let Prancer do all the work. Now there are so many hoops to jump through he has to arrive at the North Pole International Airport on December 9 to make sure he has enough time to leave by Christmas Eve.
During Christmas 2011, half of Poland didn’t get their gifts until December 27 because Santa’s sleigh was grounded on the Tarmac for six hours to wait for a snowstorm to pass. Apparently the Federal Aviation Administration no longer feels comfortable with Santa flying around in international airspace on a snowy night with only a tiny light on a deer’s nose to navigate the way.
And don’t get me started on security. You know how long it takes to scan 549,023,304,230,410 packages? And most of those have to be checked because there’s not enough room in the overhead compartments to store them. Imagine the baggage fees!
But that pales in comparison to the random screenings that Santa is subjected to at the airport. Let’s just say that airport security spends an awful lot of time checking out Santa’s sack, if you catch my drift.
2. Health and Safety Regulations for Santa
Or do I mean, “Elf and Safety Regulations.” <Pause for laughter>. Actually, I was all excited about that joke before realizing some other creative geniuses at a place called Pryers Solicitors beat me to it. Dammit. But seriously, check out this infographic, and tell me this isn’t the funniest thing you’ve seen. These days, OSHA is so strict that Santa ends up looking like the Terminator with all his gear on.
And did you realize that starting in December 2017 Santa also has to leave a certificate of insurance under the tree with all the presents to prove he’s carrying at least $10 million in liability coverage? That law came about due to an unfortunate incident in which Santa couldn’t get chimney access to a home in New Jersey and had to try to crawl in through the dryer exhaust.
3. Human Resources
For a long time now Santa has been getting away with some pretty questionable HR practices. Not anymore. Do you know how long it takes to make 549,023,304,230,410 presents? A hell of a long time. But it didn’t matter to Santa because he was making the elves work 24/7 with no overtime pay to get it done. Tired of the abuse, the elves unionized in 2010 and now enjoy fair wages, benefits, and time-and-a-half over 40 hours. Ironically they also get Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off paid which means all toy production has to be finalized by December 23.
And speaking of elves, there sure are a lot of them at the North Pole production facilities. This led to a 2007 lawsuit by a group of trolls citing discrimination that Santa was only hiring elves to make all the toys. A Federal Court ruled that Santa could no longer discriminate based on race, color, sex, religion, political affiliation, or pointy-ness of ears and now there are a variety of magical creatures working at the North Pole. However, this has led to a number of production problems as goblins and mermaids just aren’t as good at making toys as elves.
If you thought advances in technology would help Jolly Old St. Nick, you were dead wrong. In fact, today’s gadgets and gizmos have complicated things so much that analysts predict by 2020 the North Pole will no longer be able to make its toy quotas. Can you really blame Santa, though? Any old elf – or mermaid, merman, or merperson thanks to Santa v. Trolls – could make a toy train or rocking horse. Not many of them have the circuitry background to whip out a Nintendo 3DS. All kids want these days are iPads, iPods, or iPhones and Santa neither has the budget or the technology expertise to pull it off.
Social media has also made matters worse as it’s created an unrealistic expectation that Santa can engage with all of his customers. In reality, though, all it’s done is created a platform for kids to bitch.
@SantaClaus623 Thanks for the shitty gifts, Santa. I would have rather had a lump of coal you sack of trash.
Cell phone video has also had a negative impact on Santa. A few years ago some fan footage ended up in the hands of TMZ of a woman who wasn’t Mrs. Claus “sitting on Santa’s lap.” It practically ruined their marriage.
5. Societal Fears and Political Correctness
There’s no denying that society has changed so much as of late that it’s really altering the way Santa does business. For one, Santa’s lawyers advised “Ho-ho-ho” is no longer appropriate as it may be deemed offensive to women.
PETA also isn’t a big fan of the whole reindeer thing and so by 2024 Santa has promised to eliminate all reindeer labor and will switch to eco-friendly sleigh fuel.
In addition, new age parenting philosophies have all but eliminated the whole “Naughty and Nice” thing, replacing it with a “Everyone is unique in their own special way” list. That’s probably a good thing, though, because Santa has a hard time keeping tabs on kids anyways since it’s no longer appropriate for him to “see them when they’re sleeping.”
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