Santa joins Oprah on the sidelines as he calls it quits after 400 years of hard work
A FTER more than 400 years on the job, Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nick and, in Afghanistan, Baba Chaghaloo, is calling it quits. His announcement is the second shocking celebrity resignation to rock the world after talkshow queen Oprah Winfrey announced her retirement last week after a similar length of time in daytime television.
In a press conference at his North Pole home, Claus said: “I love my job and it’s been a wonderful four centuries. But it’s time to move on, to explore my other options. And take a holiday! Ho-ho-ho. I deserve it.”
Claus’ resignation will leave a huge void in the end-of-year festive season, but it’s not only children who are panicking. Retailers worldwide have expressed grave concern that without Santa the consumer fest that Christmas has become might return to its spiritual roots.
Hugh Greenback, head of the South African Retailers Association, was dismayed. “First the recession, now this? There’s going to be carnage in the retail sector. This is the blackest Christmas ever.”
But Claus’ resignation is not necessarily the end of Christmas. Several other holiday mascots are already vying for the top job in season festivals.
The Easter Bunny’s agent, Thumper, says the rabbit has put in a transfer application. “Mr Bunny is an excellent candidate. He’s cuddly, kids love him and he already looks good in fur!”
But the Easter Bunny may have serious competition from another mascot already associated with the holiday. Krampus, Austria’s demon goat who accompanies Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, is known for punishing naughty children with a switch, stealing their presents and bundling them up in sacks.
“I can tone down the scary,” Krampus said, “and I get on fabulously with the reindeer. We’re practically related.”
As for Santa Claus’ future plans? He says that he intends to keep on giving by setting up a global network of brand new holidays.
“Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving and so on are all very sweet, very traditional celebrations, but they haven’t really kept up with modern culture.
“I’ll be launching several all-new contemporary holidays that cash in on what’s hot right now, including Self-Actualisation Through Wishful Thinking Day (in conjunction with Oprah), Cute Emo Vampire Day, Bootycall Day, and Buy Sh*t For Yourself You Deserve It Day.” recession, a conclusion they are said to have reached after hearing American rapper Maino’s hit, I Think I Might Give Away a Million Bucks, at a party at the weekend.
Addressing the media from a booth in the Old Mutual car park where he now works as a night watchman, former economist Upside Longbottom said Maino’s hit confirmed suspicions that the worst was over.
“Economics is not an exact science,” he said, “it is about reading signs and making speculative guesses.
“But anyone who denies a sign like Maino’s is clearly delusional. Or they haven’t spent at least five years at university,” he said.
He said the song served as confirmation of what economists already knew.
“We had already seen the Salticrax index drop eight points in the last three months,” he said, “which is always a telling sign.”
Asked what the Salticrax index was, Longbottom explained it reflected the date of the month on which the average household started eating Marmite and Salticrax for dinner. “It’s usually around the 22nd of the month,” he said, “but at the bottom of the recession we were hitting it on about the 4th. Right now we are on the 12th so there are definite signs of recovery.”
Longbottom urged South Africans to help speed up the post recession recovery in whatever way they could.
“Max out your credit cards, borrow from your bond or blow your 13th cheque on a flat screen TV.
“For the economy to grow, money must flow,” he said. “There’s a term us economists like to use and that’s ‘economic exposure’.
“Basically we want to be exposed to as much cash as possible,” he said.
ENOUGH ALREADY: Oprah Winfrey cried off daytime TV after almost 400 years on the job.
OUT: Retailers are dismayed by Santa’s resignation.