An Open Letter to Santa Claus

SantaReadingLetterDear Santa,

I realize that you’re busy with a few other things right now, and I hate the thought of imposing, but I need a couple minutes of your time. 

You see, you’re not aware of this, but you’re at the center of a rather tense situation in my home. As I understand it your business is to bring joy and merriment to people rather than strife and confusion, so I’d appreciate a moment of your attention so that I can explain the situation at hand and hopefully, by way of mutual understanding, reach some sort of resolution.

First, let me say that until this year your role in the holiday schedule of events has always gone off without a hitch, much to the pleasure of all involved.  Both of my sons, now ages 6 and 9, have annually looked forward to your arrival per tradition (though, let’s face it, the tradition part doesn’t mean anything to them) and my wife and I have made good use of your brand. And at this point I should also add that I do very much admire the staying power of your brand, particularly in these difficult times when so many long-standing brands are falling out of favor. You deserve a lot of credit—kudos on that.  

As I was saying, until this year everything was running smoothly.  Then something happened.  My 9-year old, who, over the course of the last year or so has developed into something of a junior skeptic, started calling your existence into question. I realize that in your business this is nothing new, but for us the implications of our son seriously doubting you were alarming.  Maybe we’ve been lazy, relying too much on your brand to infuse the holiday with happiness and satisfaction. Perhaps we should have been more creative and strategic in our approach to Christmas fulfillment.  But, we are where we are. 

Our son began his discovery process with something of an explosive gestalt. When the realization finally came upon him that you are, in fact, nothing but a time-honored figment, the undergirding of his young psyche was shaken. He had his first existential experience–thrown, as Sartre would say, into the void. Eventually, he pulled himself from the edge of the abyss, mourned his loss, and began the process of acceptance. At that point he endeavored to learn all he could about why people come to believe such far-flung things, and this intellectual hunger led to a ferocious backlash against your brand and pretty much everything associated with it (elves, flying reindeer, etc).  

My wife and I have no recourse but to accept this. We’re trying to temper his rage and direct his zeal into more productive pursuits, and with time I’m confident that we’ll succeed. In the meantime, however (and this is the main reason for my writing), we’re having a difficult time preventing him from infecting our 6-year old with the same skeptical ire that uncloaked you in his eyes. We’re simply not ready for our youngest son to shed his blind faith in your existence.  As far as we’re concerned, we should have at least two more good years of wish fulfillment to exploit before he deconstructs your brand and throws you into the eternal junkyard of false beliefs. Until then, we need the full force of your brand equity to make the most of this holiday.

This letter has run a bit long and I apologize for that, but I hope you can now see just how serious a situation this is.  I’m not asking you to fully own it, as I know we are but one in your vast matrix of contacts. But, I am asking that you give this matter some serious thought (perhaps during the first part of your trip, which the NORAD Santa Tracker shows being over an enormous uninhabited region of Siberia) and contact me at your earliest convenience with suggestions. Better yet, if you could pen a handful of talking points for us to use in our negotiations with the young man, that would be tremendous.

I’ll leave you to your business now and thank you for your time.  I realize most of what you’ve been reading lately contains the typical demands for material goods, and a plea for strategic advice probably comes as an out-of-left-field request. I trust that an established master of industry with your pedigree has learned to be flexible and will multitask accordingly.  It would be presumptuous of me to think otherwise.

Thanks in advance, and all the best on your travels.


David DiSalvo


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