Are we heading for Covid Christmas present disaster, or can Santa Claus cope with the new normal and changing regulations?
The Big Man expressed his concern this week that the latest round of regulations could ruin Christmas traditions and upset children everywhere. In an open letter from the North Pole, Santa described how restrictions across the world could play havoc with his ability to deliver presents under the tree, and to his strict timetable.
We caught up with him over a festive cup of tea in a London hotel to tackle the prickly question of how he saw the season panning out.
“Before the latest regulations, I was ho-ho-hopeful that I would be free over the festive season to deliver my gifts as normal. But things aren’t going to be normal. The new regulations are too taxing. For a start, PPE will not only make me sweat, it will stop be communicating effectively with my reindeer. And even worse how will a mask fit over my beard? I’ll look like a dodgy thief.”
“Then there’s the thorny issue of coming into people’s houses. I’m guessing I’ll be allowed in a Tier 1 house, but not in a Tier 3 house, and certainly in no house where there’s already two other households bubbling. How will I know that before I go in? Even worse will be the fact I can’t eat the mince pies or drink the alcohol left out as crockery sharing breaks even more rules.”
Alternative delivery method for that Covid Christmas present
“I’m afraid this year I may be forced to leave presents on the doorstep, and even then the timings may not work given global lockdowns. I’m currently negotiating air bridges between countries, as I can’t afford to self-isolate in a hotel for fourteen nights each time I cross a border. Luckily I’ve also spoken to Jeff Bezos over at Amazon and he assures me that if I can’t make it to all the houses this year, Amazon will step in and make those additional deliveries for me.”
Coughing slightly he went on, “I don’t like the idea of outsourcing, but given I’ve had to furlough half the elves and production is down due to social distancing, I’m not sure I have a choice.”
When pressed, Santa Claus denied he was selling out to big business too fast. “Look, I’m several hundred years old, so midlife in normal terms. I’m fat. I have a bad hip. I only get out once a year and I have quite a stressful job. Mother Christmas is telling me I’m in a highly vulnerable group, and actually should be self isolating.”
He went on, “And what happens if I catch it? Although I will be taking a test during December, there’s a risk I may have Covid and could become a super-spreader. People don’t need me coughing all over their presents. I need a plan B.”
Santa promises a brighter future than the Covid Christmas present
Santa Claus recognised there might be disappointment amongst the younger generation, and some adults, if Amazon delivered all their presents, but was keen to play down the longer term impact of a Covid Christmas.
“Look, this year isn’t going to be a normal Christmas. However you have to believe. Get your tat out. Put the elf on shelf. Hang up the mistletoe. Got a reindeer bell? Ring it. If you can still hear that special Christmas sound then make a wish.”
“Who knows? Maybe you’ll get that special something in the New Year. It might not be the train set you’ve been eyeing up, but it could be a holiday. Or a walk outside. Or maybe that perfect cup of tea you’ve always wanted. There’s always hope.”