Transcript for the Piece Audio version of Santa Laws
Did you know that in Canada it is against the law to impersonate Santa Claus? I read this in a book. Well, not a book exactly, more like a catalog, the Christmas catalog from Restoration Hardware to be exact.
You may not consider this the most credible of legal sources, but a retail company so heavily dependent on Christmas sales is sure to know a thing or two about the laws governing Santa.
As proof of these Canadian sanctions, I submit catalog item number 4315.0040, the Deluxe Santa Suit. As described, this “plush-poly suit comes complete with hat, jacket, trousers, leatherette spats, flowing white hair, beard and brows.” And it can be yours for $99 plus tax and shipping. That is, unless you live in Canada. The catalog clearly states in black and white that: this product cannot be shipped to Canada.
In the U.S., it seems, anyone with a weight problem and a healthy affinity for children can pass themselves off as “Ye Olde Jolly One.” But if my source is right, then Canadian parents don’t have to explain away their kids’ curiosity about how Santa can be in so many places at once. Their kids can be spared the details of just how grueling a day in the life of Santa can be; the snaking lines of whiney
children, the cramped legs from holding heavy kids all day, screaming babies,
blinding flashbulbs, and the sore cheeks from yanked whiskers. As a result, the Christmas spirit burns bright in Canada’s youth and, indeed, in all Canadians.
Last Christmas, I took my nine year-old daughter Emma on a snowy train ride over the mountains to a mock-Bavarian village where we could sing carols and gasp as the giant Christmas tree came alive with thousands of twinkling lights. On the ride home, Santa himself made a surprise appearance and walked the aisles of the train greeting the children and asking them if they had been naughty or nice. He punctuated his greetings with Santa’s most famous line, the one that you – and every man, woman and child, Christian or Jew – know by heart. Ah, but this Santa du Jour must not have read the script, because instead of “Ho, Ho, Ho,” he gave us – and I quote – “Hey, Hey, Hey.”
Now, forget that “hey, hey, hey” is the trademark greeting of a different fat guy named Albert, since my daughter is too young to make that connection. Though, for the record, she did roll her eyes at the botched pronunciation. No, the worst part is that she turned to me and said in a tone dripping with disdain, “Dad, look, he’s wearing fireman’s boots.”
Santa Laws, cont.
What could I say? She was so right. Up until that point I think she was actually willing to give the misquoting imposter the benefit of the doubt, but her precocious grasp of the sartorial subtleties of an authentic Santa would not allow her to put her faith in this red-suited charlatan.
I mumbled some lame excuse about this guy – this St. Nick stunt double – being a member of the local volunteer Santa’s union, but a veil of disappointment had already registered on her face. And all I could think was: there ought to be a law against this. This Christmas season I’m thankful that, at least in Canada, there is.Back