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Holiday Guide 2014: They Know When You're Awake. 

Tuesday, Nov 25 2014

Given the way things are going, someday Santa will be remembered as a terrifying relic of an archaic age. After all, children's stories used to be about wolves that dressed like old women and old women who ate children; now they're about talking to the moon or big red dogs. In Europe, Santa even once had a sidekick: the Krampus, a kind of demon that punished the wicked kids by stealing them away and whipping the thighs of nubile young women with tree branches. Frightening tales from a savage time.

And that's probably Santa's fate too. Because what tolerance will we have for someone who "sees you when you're sleeping," "knows when you're awake," and keeps tabs on (and evaluates the morality of) your actions in this, the age of NSA surveillance and heightened extrajudicial powers? What sympathy would we have for someone coming down America's chimneys without a warrant? Soon, wishlists will be redacted, presents will be pre-shaken by the Department of Domestic Gifting, and the Constitution will be devoured by the fat man along with the cookies. That's the direction this particular myth will take.

And so, eventually, kindly old Saint Nick will join the Krampus on whatever island he's using to detain wayward children, and one more story will pass away. Maybe then and only then can we all face each other in the holiday spirit of truth and love and admit that damn, you sons of bitches are hard to shop for.

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About The Author

Staff, SF Weekly


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