Between the middle 1800s and the early 1900s, the desire to sell magazines merged with two historical tales, one from the pagan Germanic past and the other from Christan lore, to form the Santa Claus memeplex. The memeplex quickly morphed into a capitalist dream that, once saddled upon the working class, turned a nation into insatiable consumers and gave reason to the production of frivolous goods. A new religion was born and children everywhere began to pray to Santa - a super-hero-like being, an über-elf, the Führer of naughty and nice.
Soft-drink companies, retail store chains, and chambers of commerce everywhere embraced the über-elf meme. Not a town center anywhere within the United States could be found without tributes to Santa, for the über-elf and his power to compel shopping became the lifeblood of the consumerist economy, where hyper-exploited workers compulsively turned over what little they had to feed the market.
The Santa meme was first foisted upon the Christians, celebrated as it was at Christmas, but in true capitalist form, it remained secular in content in the hope that it could ensnare the good people of all religious persuasions. Belief in Santa was made compulsory and if one did not believe in Santa, silence was demanded. The tale of the über-elf had Santa showering gifts or coal not only upon Christian children, but upon all children, leaving bereft all non-Christian children, the parents of whom were left to explain, the true reason for Santa's absence, to children who were convinced that they were left out because Jews, or Muslims, or Buddhists were simply not as good as Christians. In time it became easier to just follow the tradition, and Santa began to “appear” in the homes of other religions, a kind of uninvited guest to soften the disparity.
This was no comfort to the children of the poor. The poor were left with the choice of explaining the truth to their children, the truth that Santa the über-elf does not exist, or the choice of putting a few inferior gifts beneath the tree, leaving their children to feel that they were not as good as the children of the upper classes. After all, once the story is believed, it must be the case that the children of street cleaners receive poor gifts because they are not as good as the children of bankers who receive nice gifts. The über-elf, rather than a symbol of benevolence and love, is a symbol of fascist vindication for the bratty children of the elite.
And here we stand, Christmas of 2008, on the ledge before the abyss of another great depression. Before you stretches an ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor. Do yourself and your children a favor. Tell them the truth about the über-elf. The presents, if any, they receive are from their loved ones and not from an evil über-elf who believes the rich are better than the poor or that Christians are more deserving than Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists.
Do us all a favor and kill the Santa meme. It will make for a merrier holiday season and this time Grandma won't get run over by a reindeer.