on shopping: egocentric santa

by Samuel Saint Thomas.

Let's just say for some reason that you're lucky enough to get on my Santa list. You’re nice. You take your shoes off when you come to my house. You always and every single time refill my ice cube tray after making beverages. You pick the lint ever so gently from my sweater. And you don’t give a shit about much I do or say, not a denunciatory bone in your jaw.

And you’re naughty too. Yes. When you come, you come bearing a bottle, or two. You bring Belgian chocolates. You like to play with things. You have a tattoo that no one knows about. And to you, eating is in the same neighborhood as sex. You laugh when you hold grapefruits. “Pamplemousse, pamplemousse,” you say. You use four letter words and God in the same sentence in the dark. You are naughty and you are nice. You are on my list.

So it's good for me to keep naughty and nice people like you around. I highly recommended it for purely self-interested reasons. All smart Santas know this. You might think that I buy you gifts just to make you happy. But how can I know whether opening your box of duck slippers will fill you with joy? Or if a gift certificate to Goombas Pizza will cause ecstasy? How about a tire rotation honey muffin? I want to believe you when you say, “Wow, thanks. I love the color.” But I can’t. I heard on NPR that the perjury rate soars on December 25th.

But I don’t really care if you lie sweetheart, so long as I am filled with joy. Me. I can only guess what brings you joy. And when you say, “Darling, you didn’t have to…” I say, “Oh but darling I did. This is about me didn’t you know?” Keeping nice and naughty people like you on my list. Isn’t that why you too slip a credit card into your pocket, put on your fuzzy red hat, strap up your reindeer, and head out to bond with other lonely, depressed and egocentric Santas like me?