Single in Sandpoint:

Dear Santa,

By Scarlette Quille
Reader Columnist

Dear Santa,

I am writing you this because you are the king of the season, and it’s been rumored that you read all of your letters. I know you are well aware of my naughty status. In fact, I am OK with being naughty and not receiving presents. I’m pretty sure you feel the same way. No one is stressing out over what to get you for Christmas or whether or not you are naughty in the off-season. Society pretty much gives you a break 11 months out of the year. Lucky.

I’m just going to go ahead and say it, Mr. Claus. I think you’re a little more naughty than we give you credit for. Let’s point out the obvious: You spend your days wearing red velour, stroking a marvelous beard and ruling over a sweat shop. You encourage people to sit upon your lap and tell you their desires. You don’t give a shit about organic ingredients or gluten-free lifestyles. In fact, you are unapologetically overweight, happy and legendary.  You have life figured out.

Your lifestyle is basically a mirror to how society functions. We spend 11 months out of the year doing whatever floats our boat, and then in December we start being weirdly nice. We become more patient and giving and twinkly. We spend every last dime in our bank accounts trying to make Christmas nice for other people. I’ve never really understood this. I mean, receiving expensive gifts is pretty memorable any time of year. I don’t know why we have to blow our whole wads at Christmas. Let’s say someone wanted to buy me a new car. It would be a magical and memorable day even if it was July 28. Right?

There are so many unspoken rules during Christmastime: You can’t break up with people or give them bad news or refuse to eat their homemade treats for fear that you might ruin the holiday. People go around saying it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and ‘tis the season, they empty out their pockets and open their hearts …but come Jan. 1 when the tree is a pile of needles, the bills are due and the hangover is fresh, no one’s giving you their spot in line or paying for your coffee.

Even more confusing: Where does the baby Jesus fits into this whole picture?  A great majority of people who celebrate Christmas (the ones I know) are not religious. Take me for example:  I don’t attend church regularly. Or ever. I am just doing my best not to ruin anything important to anybody, at any time, even if I don’t necessarily understand it. I don’t want to be considered an asshole.

I feel like a conflicted hypocrite, and it makes me secretly hate this season. It is this very reason that I decided to write you, Santa. I want to thank you for teaching by example. Your existence gives the outliers—the naughty and the skeptics—clues on how to exist in this world. Correct me if I am wrong, but as long as you take care of your responsibilities and step it up a notch in December by being extra jolly and generous, you can spend the rest of the time maintaining your personal lifestyle choice. Beards, velour, lavish snacks, whatever. And, as long as you do it well, people theoretically will let you be the rest of the year? I’m in.

Santa, I didn’t write this to be judgmental, or call you out, or point out that it would be a better world if people would give a shit about other people more than a couple weeks out of the year. I’m just writing to say, thanks. I get you. It’s OK to be extra nice one season and extra naughty the next. People aren’t perfect.  I hope you and the Missus enjoy the off season, in whatever way you choose.

Also, if you have any room in your sleigh for an extra pair of red velour pants with matching suspenders, I know this bearded guy who lives on Lower Pack River Road, he would really look sexy—I mean like a pair. He’s been pretty good at being both naughty and nice this year. Just throwing that out there.

Merry Christmas!

Ho, ho, ho,

Scarlette Quille

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