‘Tis the season for us to pare down Santa’s claws

By Yoav Margalit, Staff Writer

Christmas can be a beautiful time of religious fervor, where faith is renewed. Or maybe a time of community, where you come together with your neighbors and family. Or if you have the resolve, it can become something precious. Something worthwhile, something pure.

I speak, of course, of an indulgent frenzy of rampant capitalism. But there is one thing standing in your way as you start your descent into sweet decadence. One obstacle that, but for its presence, you could do as you please.

The red-and-white-trimmed elephant in the room is plain to see: I’m talking about Santa Claus.

To a wannabe cog in the capitalist machine, Santa Claus represents the main competition in the Christmas season. He is a symbol of all you detest. Presents and familial bonding cannot coincide on the same day; it’s unnatural. And what’s this about morality? Naughty? Nice?

“I don’t care about any of that stuff,” you think to yourself in a panic. “I just want to buy stuff! And make money! And buy more stuff with the money I’ve made!” Not to worry.

Claus can be stopped if we’re smart about it. First, let’s look at what he’s got going for him — know thine enemy.

The initial analysis doesn’t look good. Among other assets, Santa appears to have at his disposal a fully staffed sweatshop of elves, ready to manufacture anything he might need, a team of gravity-defying reindeer that answer only to him and a bag that can apparently hold all of the presents needed in a Christmas season.

The sheer amount of coal he has available for stockings of the naughty suggests an over-abundance of the resource, which means he can most likely meet any energy needs he might encounter.

Not only that, but St. Nick himself is formidable. We’re talking about a guy who can move fast enough to reach every Christian home on Earth in a single night. This means that even if we seriously lowball the estimations on distance (work with only the circumference of the Earth), and assume an eight-hour night, Santa is traveling at a minimum of 990 miles per hour.

That’s half as fast as the fastest-recorded manned aircraft speed, and that’s the bare minimum.

As if it wasn’t already grim, Santa is also unbelievably strong. Yes, most of the time it’s on that sleigh, but folklore unilaterally points to Santa taking his bag with him when he disembarks.

This means he can actually lift the darn thing. Let’s assume Santa carries a present for each Christian child every Christmas and that each present weighs, on average, a single pound.

Let’s also assume that roughly a quarter of Christians on Earth are children (which might be a serious underestimation). Given these assumptions, his bag weighs an absolute minimum of 550 million pounds. He puts this thing on his back.

Have we gotten to how Kringle completely ignores the laws of space and time as we understand them? The man is supposed to be obese, but he can still climb down chimneys across the world without any structural damage? While carrying 550 million pounds? Impossible.

The only explanation is that he can simply ignore laws of physics that he finds inconvenient at a whim.

Now we’re in trouble. We’re talking about a guy who’s supernaturally quick, strong and ignores any law of physics that looks at him funny. How can you stop something like that? What hope do you have?

The answer is simple: subterfuge. If Santa Claus can do whatever he wants, then your only recourse is to convince him to do what you want. There are a few time-honored strategies I recommend.

Fear tactics

It’s possible that normally, after climbing down the fireplace, Santa is used to a warm reception. Try mixing it up with a scary mask. If it works on tigers, maybe it’ll work on Santa.


Leave an iPhone X next to the fireplace. If you can infect Santa with consumerism, maybe he’ll use his powers for capitalism instead of “Christmas cheer.” Whatever that is.

Psychological warfare

Place a coal-filled stocking on the mantle. Santa’s got a lot of houses to remember. Maybe he’ll think he already got this one. And nobody would impersonate being naughty, so he won’t think to check. It’s the perfect crime.


Santa Claus looks for Christmas trees to put down the presents. Try putting up a fake tree, complete with decorations, and throw your actual tree under a tarp. It might throw him off the scent. After he puts the presents down, you can take the tree and presents outside and burn them, safely preserving your “Scroogeosity.”


A common method to lead-off Santa Claus is to leave milk and cookies out for him. This tactic obviously does not work because he keeps coming back. Take your cue from Halloween trick-or-treating, and leave him a toothbrush and floss instead. There’s no way he’ll be back next year.

Outright lying

Put a menorah next to the fireplace.

Hopefully, you can put this knowledge to good use to defy Santa Claus this holiday season. Whatever happens, know this: Nobody can take the choice to be an amoral capitalist away from you.

Yoav is a senior in LAS.

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