Many of us think of Santa as that kind, jolly old soul who appears annually on our doorsteps and chimneys and gives generously from his own plentiful store of toys back at the North Pole. Well, it turns out nothing could be further from the truth. I have recently come upon some troubling documentary evidence which indicates that, in all likelihood, Santa is actually the greatest cookie thief of our time. Let me start at the beginning.
About 1700 years ago, a man named Nicholas pretended to help children and the poor, but in reality he was only nice to kids because he enjoyed the treats their parents made them. He’d regularly go to these children’s houses pretending to give alms, but when their backs were turned he’d take all of the cookies he could find and disappear out the back door. Eventually, the parents caught on and started barricading their doors against Nicholas. However at that point he was addicted to sugar and would do anything to service his craving, including sliding down chimneys to get the goods.
The cookies fed Nicholas and kept him alive and energetic far beyond normal human years. As long as he kept stealing cookies, he could survive. Unfortunately, the people of Europe, being particularly partial to cookies themselves, turned against Nicholas. He was exiled from the continent and driven north by angry mobs of cookie-deprived parents. For months he was forced to survive off scraps of seal and venison, until finally he developed an ingenious method of super-speedy transportation involving reindeer and a sleigh. Nicholas, by then operating under the alias “Tzen Tuh” (a traditional reindeer moniker), began revisiting those houses in Europe that had barricaded their doors against him. But having learned his lesson the first time, he found that families were much less angered if he left some trinkets in place of the cookies he stole. Equipped with this new knowledge, he went back to the North Pole where he constructed his own toy factory and conscripted local laborers to service it. His operations were a success, and before long Tzen Tuh, or Santa, as he came to be known, developed a rotund pot belly as a result of all the cookies he was consuming. He decided to take his operations global and expanded to the Americas, as well as parts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Working around the clock, Santa’s PR agents perpetuated this myth of “Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick,” which was hugely successful with millions of children writing letters expressing their goodness and demanding toys from Santa’s operation every year.
Eventually, the toy factory began taking losses, but Santa didn’t care – he was still getting his cookies. The reindeer, however, were not so content. They had been working for a long time for very little pay, and were just about fed up with the arrangement. Rudolph, the ringleader, decided to have it out with Santa. He confronted his boss over a plate of shortbread in a young girl’s house in Connecticut, and demanded fair payment in the form of a 50-50 split of the baked proceeds.
“Your audacity astounds me,” said Santa.
“You’re a cheapskate,” said Rudolph. “We’re not moving one foot more until you agree to our demands. Even if that means we have to live in Connecticut.”
Santa knew when he was beat – and, as Mrs. Claus (yes it turned out Santa had managed to find a spouse who was equally addicted to cookies) was always telling him, he did probably need to cut down on his cookie intake. So he agreed to a 70-30 split with Rudolph, who took a 40-60 split between himself and the other reindeer, and from then on a fragile truce was achieved in Santaland.
Now, I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble by relating all this. By all means, put out cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve and happily await your presents. I just want people to know the truth, and to be aware when they’re being duped. But if you’re as outraged about this as I am, please share this post, along with the hashtag #therealSanta.
- For the full recipe, check out Best of Flash Fiction Kitchen, available here.
This recipe features in Phoenix Helix’s Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.