Bad Santa

December 18, 2009

Who do you think is responsible for encouraging obesity, drink driving and all manner of other ills that contribute to the general malaise of the modern world? Why Santa, of course… Eh?

Just in time for what is supposed to be the jolly season currently tempered by the recession, we have another thing to laden our already heavy hearts. According to an Australian study from Monash University published in the British Medical Journal, Santa Claus is a bad role model for children because he’s overweight (obesity covered: check), He drinks sherry then drives his sleigh (drink driving: check), drives his sleigh at speed without a seat belt or helmet and hops from roof to roof (speeding and dangerous driving: check) and department store Santas could spread swine flu (irresponsible citizen: check. Over and out). It’s been suggested that instead of children leaving out mince pies, sticks of carrots and celery could be left for Santa, because my God, he could do with losing a few. Perhaps April Fool comes twice a year.

The current image of the fat jolly Santa sneaking into homes to leave gifts for good children has been around since the 19th Century. It’s a wonderful thing for the little ones to enjoy a bit of magic, though these days; I suspect that by the time they reach five, they believe that Santa is Nintendo, Apple or Nike. The fat red man therefore, needs all the support he can get. He doesn’t need to be turned into a ‘role model,’ he just needs to be fun.

As a footnote, you may want to have a look at this site. It’s called Sketchy Santas and it’s chock full of pictures of kids posing with department store Santas. To say that some of these images are weird would be kind. You can judge them for yourself.


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