dys·func·tion /dɪsˈfʌŋkʃən/ [dis-fuhngk-shuhn]–noun
1. Medicine/Medical . malfunctioning, as of an organ or structure of the body. 2. any malfunctioning part or element: the dysfunctions of the country's economy. 3. Sociology . a consequence of a social practice or behavior pattern that undermines the stability of a social system.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Special Delivery

When I was a kid we used to write letters to Santa Claus every year and mail them to him at the North Pole.

Santa Claus
The North Pole

(Did any of my Canadian friends notice that for us, the North Pole was in Canada?)

Dear Santa,

I hope you and Mrs. Claus are doing well this year. I have been very good and I would like some Polly Pockets and a pony.


And every year Santa would reply.

Dear dys·func·tion,

Thank you for your letter! Mrs. Claus and I are doing very well thank you. The elves are very busy at the North Pole right now so I will have to see what I can do about your Polly Pockets. I agree with your parents though, a pony is not a good pet for the city.

Santa Claus

So I was super excited to mail letters to Santa Claus from Shake'n'Bake when she was born.

She asked for some wooden blocks and teething rings her first Christmas... the letter that she got back was very shocking and disappointing to me.

The same event the following year.

So I talked to Santa Claus this year. I had to know what had happened. Why, suddenly, instead of heartfelt letters in return, a child was sent a computer print out of some generic response that had their name hand written into the
 'Dear                 ,'  space on the letter.

The response I recieved was...politically correct (poor Santa's been on the block for bad PR lately) but I was able to weed out the truth.

It appears that over the years Santa was getting more and more negative feedback from his replies. Parents were upset over mentions of the elves, or the reindeer, that prompted their children to ask questions they weren't prepared to handle. Small children weren't understanding the old 'I'll see what I can do' non-commital stand-by and were getting upset when they didn't recieve exactly what they wanted.

Image from here
Santa's legal team got together with the PR team (PR = Public Relations) and they decided that the best course of action would be to create a non-commital, politically correct response that could cover all the letters sent in every year. This would ensure that children would still get their response from Santa, and also that parents would be happy with the responses themselves.

*shakes head*

It's crushing what this world is coming to.

Well, I expressed my sympathy to the big man over what he'd been through the previous years, I'd had no idea. But I did let him know that I wasn't interested in getting a non-commital, politcally correct reponse, so my kids wouldn't be sending him letters any more.

There was a pause while Santa made sure our conversation was still private.

Then he told me about an 'underground' project that he had been doing. How it only took one elf to write the children's names on the responses, and so they all had a lot of free time on their hands.

He was still writing letters.

Photo from here

"dysfunction," he said to me, "I can't offer this to everyone you understand, but if you let me know when you plan to write your letters then I can send an elf to pick them up from your mailbox. Don't bother with the HOH OHO any more... not if you don't want the computer generated response... just write 'To Santa Claus" on the front and leave it in the box. I'll respond, the way I used to, with love and affection."

Now I must warn you, this is not for the faint of heart. It will require work on the part of mom or dad. You have to talk to Santa Claus and decide if this is what you want to do. He still wants Christmas to be magical, but that PR and legal team are fairly insistent that this is the way to go. Once you decide to take the 'underground' route you have to let Santa Claus know what day you will be leaving your letter in the box, so he can send an elf to pick it up. Then he will respond, the way he used to, with love and affection.

I have an idea of what my girls are in for this year. Santa and I may have tossed the word 'package' around instead of 'letter'; and I may have mentioned to him Shake'n'Bake's love of stickers.

I have to call to finalize, but it looks like I'll be leaving an envelope marked "To Santa Claus" in my mailbox this Friday night.

***Update: I talked to Santa Claus and he's going to arrange the pick-up for Sunday night! So excited!***

I'll let you know how it goes.


jedi starrunner said...

OMG I WANT TO DO THE SAME THING!!! Too bad I don't have a mail box :( Maybe I'll write him one when I go *home* for Christmas to my mommy's house or maybe while I'm at my bestly-best-bestest friend's house!

- jG - said...

you're adorable!

I didn't check it out too thoroughly to figure out whether or not it's been plagued by the PR doods, but I saw this and thought of you!