With less than a week left until Christmas, I thought it would be a perfect time to tell the story of the new world’s Santa. After the great panic, there was much confusion about what role the holidays would play in our rebuilt society and Santa had to change with the times. There were just too many aspects of the traditional Santa that did not work in our new context. Below I have laid out what I think is a definitive guide to the new Santa tradition. This guide will help to create a common myth of Santa, which will be useful when you encounter other survivor groups. After all, you wouldn’t want to confuse the children would you?
- No more milk and cookies: Of course, everyone loves cookies but these days even Santa appreciates a more practical show of affection. Besides, while shapely might be in, even Santa’s gotten into fighting form these days and has cut back on the calories. We recommend leaving some festive essentials: Christmas-themed embroidered toilet paper or Christmas tree shaped throwing stars (I hear Santa has a killer headshot!).
- Santa now comes down the chimney at noon, in broad daylight: Sneaking downstairs to put presents under the tree in the dead of night is likely to get you shot. Sadly,that’s just the world we live in, but we could not dream of denying the children the jingle of sleigh bells and visions of sugar plums! So now, Mr. K dresses as jolly old Saint Nick and stacks the presents under the tree at noon on Christmas Day. This year, Mr. Young Jr., in a doomed attempt to keep his place in our home, has offered to be an elf.
- The Naughty or Nice List: In the past five years our little ones have been taught a whole new set of ground rules for what is appropriate and what is not. For example, when I was a kid, playing with knives would be cause for alarm and a strong talking to. Nowadays, playing with weapons is homework. Consequently, the rules have changed for Santa’s big list as well. “Naughty” and “nice” translate to “helpful” or “not helpful” in our household. The junior survivors know that doing the dishes or beheading a zombie are both going to get them into the jolly man’s good graces.
Finally, at this time of year, I find it is most important to remember the reasons we all find ourselves gathered around a fire enjoying carols and a cup of cheer (usually Mr. K’s home brew). We come together because, in the end, this is our new family and we all work together to make it through to the next year.
‘Tis the season to forget about the horrors outside and celebrate being with those around us.
Except for Miss Peterson, she’s not invited.