There was a time when I drifted through the night sky in my sleigh, jubilant and possessed with a need to give. The children went to sleep on Christmas Eve with a smile on their faces because they knew I delivered what I promised year after year. Love beckoned me, and I chased her as a fawn runs after its mother. Life celebrated me, and I rejoiced with him at the banquet of kindness. Beauty greeted me, and I danced with her on blue snowfields, marvelling at the august mountains that loomed over us.
But the growth of technology changed everything. The decadence of culture and tradition ruined me. No longer did children want a snow globe or a tin soldier or candy. They craved for violent video games or zombie movies or an autographed copy of the latest album of a potty-mouthed rapper. And I struggled to adapt to the changing social norms. I commanded my elves at board meetings to create gifts that didn’t make me compromise on my values, and yet stayed true to the times, but they failed me.
Soon, the very notion of an old bellied man climbing down a chimney at night became frightening and repulsive. The hounds mistook me for a burglar and tore into my flesh; security systems wailed the moment I set foot in living rooms; paranoid parents threatened me with shotguns and no amount of explaining convinced them. The elves had to bail me out using magic each time, and this threatened the order of the universe.
After the missus left me, I gave up trying to recover my former glory. I’d neglected her, and she’d found a young Eskimo who she claimed was a better lover and not a crackpot who lived for laudation. I spent nights in perturbation, hoping that she’d return and that the same celestial force who’d given me my position in the grand scheme of things would restore everything to how it once was. But I found no sign in the sky or heard no whisper in my dreams, telling me that my crisis was impermanent.
Wounded and feeling betrayed, I stopped working all year long to make gifts for a group of undeserving children driven by greed. “If the world behaved in a pococurante manner, why should I be a knight of consideration in red and white?” I asked myself. I soon took to writing and journaled my deepest thoughts. I sent my memoir to a publishing house, but they rejected it, deeming it ‘too self-indulgent and verbose.’ Disappointed, I succumbed to drinking and made the elves produce potent whiskey.
I stayed depressed for years, but one day I saw men fighting off fire-breathing centaurs with swords, and becoming monsters themselves to defeat them. I spent days contemplating the dream’s meaning and had an epiphany. “We’re going into business, boys!” I said to the elves. Soon, we moved to Alaska and started a restaurant. I kept my beard but replaced the red and white with a black shirt and blue jeans. My business grew, and soon we had eateries all over America. I had a string of romances during that period, and some women I dated had fetishes that made a kinky Mrs. Claus seem prudish.
So, how good is the food at St. Nicholas’s Burgers? Well, stop by this Sunday and try our Big Rudolph and you’ll know. And yes, we serve complimentary ale too. Ho! Ho! Ho!