What happened to Santa Claus? Early pictures of St. Nicholas depict a religious man with a gaunt face and aquiline nose. Wearing a bishop’s robe and clutching a Bible, the St. Nick of yore seemed to personify the true meaning of Christmas. Several hundred years later, Santa, now clad in a garish red suit, showed up at the mall with elves and magic reindeer. Children weren’t sure how to react to this man with the maniacal laugh who was tracking their behavior like a watchdog, even while they were sleeping. In some odd sort of therapy, parents helped kids face their fears by forcing them to have their picture taken with him after standing in lines long enough to make the Great Wall of China look like a stick of gum. No one was sure what this had to do with the birth of a savior, but one thing was certain: Santa had received a makeover, and his “reveal” was shocking indeed.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;
First, Santa really packed on some pounds. The culprit? Working at the mall, of course. How could he be expected to work right next to the food court and still be able to maintain his slim figure? During breaks his elves were probably making countless donut runs. Not to mention the need for complex carb packing during his most stressful time of year.
Makeover Idea: To get into shape, he should try organic gardening and work with a personal trainer. Drop the mall tours. There is something disconcerting about seeing Santa holding a Starbucks® coffee and talking into his cell phone. He doesn’t need the extra publicity, and let’s face it: Mall Santa killed St. Nicholas. Going into seclusion, à la J. D. Salinger, will only increase his popularity and mystique.
He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:
Red is not doing Santa any favors. Notice how it draws attention to the ruddiness of other facial features:
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
Also, the fur is a little outdated and not very practical when climbing down sooty chimneys. And no man, I don’t care WHO he is, should have a belt bigger than Wonder Woman’s.
Makeover Idea: Black is the new red. Not only is black slimming, but what better way to hide the soot stains? Replace the pipe with cool sunglasses.
Traveling by reindeer and sleigh may have been cool hundreds of years ago, but why not take advantage of technological advances? Wouldn’t GPS make his job a whole lot easier? And the reindeer-sleigh gig seems a bit unreliable.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Santa was on the lawn? Wasn’t he supposed to land on the rooftop? Obviously there was some problem with the landing. Or was that why he was yelling at the reindeer in the middle of the night while everyone was trying to sleep?
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen,
“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donner and Blitzen;
“To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
Makeover Idea: If Santa is trying to use the element of surprise, then crash landings on the lawn, sleigh and animal landings on roofs, and reindeer reprimands in the middle of the night are questionable methods. I’d like to see more evidence of stealth capabilities. How about rappelling from the roof?
Why does Santa have to live at the North Pole? The cold is not good for his health. If seclusion is his goal, there are plenty of remote tropical islands to choose from.
Makeover Idea: Santa should move to a secluded island in the South Pacific, shave his beard, and get a nice tan.
The New Santa would be tan, fit, and slim in black. He would be intriguing, mysterious, and resourceful. Click here for the Extreme Santa Makeover Reveal:
Poem excerpts from Clement C. Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas,” 1822.
St. Nicholas photo from Wikipedia.com
Modern Santa photo from public-domain-image.com