I'm sick of being Santa's bitch. I'm sick of lying for him. I'm sick of trying to explain away the inherent inconsistencies in his annual giving program. I'm sick of him getting all the glory when I'm doing all the hard grunt.
Here are two conversations I recently had with my kids:
DAUGHTER: Mum, you know how you promised you'd always tell me the truth if I asked you a question?
ME: Um, yes. I did say that, didn't I?
DAUGHTER: Yes, you did. (Looks me square in the eyes in that kind of way that makes me think she's looking straight into my soul:) Is Santa real?
ME: Yes. Yes, he is... ‘real'. (Unspoken legal disclaimer: "Yes, Santa is ‘real' in that he is an actual entity, represented throughout the last century in films, books and songs and by out of work actors in shopping malls").
DAUGHTER: And it's not you that puts the presents in the stocking, is it?
ME: No. No, it's not ‘me' who puts the presents in the stockings. (Unspoken legal disclaimer: "Considering the fact I'm usually off-my-tits-drunk on eggnog when I fill the stockings on Christmas Eve, I could argue that, technically, I am not entirely ‘myself'.")
ME: Yeah, good. Really really good.
ELDEST SON: Can you buy me the Harry Potter Diagon Alley Lego set with a recommended retail price of $250 for Christmas?
ME: (outraged) No! That's far too expensive! Shuh!
ELDEST SON: What if you buy it for all three of us?
ME: It would mean you would all just have one single present to open at Christmas time. And a tree with only one present is a sad tree. Think of the tree.
DAUGHTER: (reassuringly) It's okay. I've put it on my Christmas list. Santa will get it for us.
YOUNGEST SON: Yay!!!
ME: What?? Santa doesn't buy those big ticket items! No, no, no, no. Santa buys small but charming stocking fillers! Lollipops! Plastic nicknacks and whatnots!
ELDEST SON: Then how come Santa bought James D. a Nintendo DS and Abby a Wii?
DAUGHTER: Yeah! How come?
ME: Um.... that's because Santa is means-tested.
DAUGHTER: Means-tested? What does that mean?
ME: It means Santa looks at the overall income of the household to decide the value of the presents he gives the kids.
ELDEST SON: So if Santa gets us small presents that must mean you earn enough money to buy us the Harry Potter Diagon Alley Lego set.
YOUNGEST SON: Yay!!!
ME: Yay!!!! (Mutters under breath:) Santa, you're a fat fuck.
Based on these two conversations alone, it's easy to see how Ebenezer Scrooge got all bah-humbuggy. He was sick of being Santa's bitch, too.