Before I begin, I would like to apologize for excluding the lucky individuals who didn’t grow up believing in, or should I say were lied to, about mythical holiday figures. I would also like to apologize to those whose childhoods were made more “magical” by fictitious characters such as Saint Nick, the Easter Bunny, Cupid and the rest of the frightening gang . If it’s any consolation, I can’t relate to either group of people. I was one of those kids who grew up believing in Santa and his peers. I was also one of those kids who grew up being absolutely terrified of mythical holiday creatures. But now that I am an adult (apply term loosely) I can express those fears on a more in-depth level.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner I think it is imperative that we address the idea of Cupid. Cupid’s sole job is to meddle in people’s personal lives. He flutters around and shoots arrows at people. I am not sure if I am the only one that is wildly disturbed by this, but I really do not want any arrows being shot at me. What kind of sick idea is this? Listen, love is great, blah blah blah. However, if I need to be shot with a bow in order to have hearts in my eyes, then forgive me, but I am going to have to hard pass on this whole love idea.
I think we can all agree that the cutesy little drawing of Cupid would be way off anyway. Let’s just say Cupid is as little as our cartoons like to portray him. Have you ever seen a bow before? Because, those are not tools of love. They are more like weapons of mass destruction. Pulling the bow back alone is like pulling 80 pounds. I don’t know about you, but I have trouble lifting the 10 pounds at the gym, let alone pulling 80 with my forearms. That alone is terrifying. There is something freakish about a little fairy-like character flying around with a heavy weapon.
Now let’s get the idea of Santa straight. He’s a big guy with a beard who drives a reindeer sleigh, from the North pole and enters our house once a year to leave us presents and eat our cookies. Right off the bat, breaking and entering. Personally, I feel like that is an incredible breach of boundaries. My parents didn’t lock the doors at night just so some husky guy in a suit could finagle his way in through the chimney. Why can’t he just knock on the door? Then he’s a welcomed guest in our house instead of a fluffy weirdo who steals my cookies. How about Santa hitting us with a courtesy call? If he knows if we’ve been naughty-or-nice I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by assuming he’s capable of getting our phone numbers.
And on the topic of naughty or nice, how does Santa come to conclusions on these character evaluations? Naughty is never clearly defined in any sort of literature or song that I can find. So what constitutes naughty? If my thoughts are naughty does that count? What if I apologize after I’m naughty? Five-year-old me had no idea if I was on the path to pony figurines or coal. Why would you put that kind of pressure on children? Also, knowing if I’m naughty or nice, sleeping or awake all year seems like it would be an incredibly invasive and arduous task.
The lengths that guy has to go through to keep everyone on the right list has to cross ethical lines somewhere. Adults get riled up about the NSA spying on them, yet don’t even question the hoops Santa has to jump through to complete his naughty-or- nice analysis of their children.
Elves are also a perplexing aspect of the Santa regime. There is never a solid explanation about where they came from. There is also never a solid reason given as to why they are working for Santa. In all honesty, elves seem like little happy slaves that work super hard for no pay. It’s not like Santa is making money so how does he feed, house and keep maintenance up on his operation of elves? Why are they so happy to only be toymakers? With all of this in mind I think it’s safe to say elves are just little, brainwashed, empty creatures who do whatever Santa tells them and that’s just wrong.
The last aspect of Santa that should have everyone blocking their chimneys during holiday seasons is his striking resemblance to the Christmas monster Krampus. If you don’t know who Krampus is, he is basically a demonic Austro-Bavarian anti-Santa who punishes the “naughty” children on Christmas. He appears the night before Dec. 6 and he whips children with chains and then pulls them into his sack and drags them into his lair. This night is called Krampusnacht. A night where a mystical figure breaks into your house, has a sack, and delivers consequences to children; coincidence? I think not. It’s pretty safe to assume that old Saint Nick may have an evil alter ego and that’s enough for me to not leave my stockings out by the fireplace.
Don’t even get me started on the Easter Bunny. What a freaking weirdo, am I right? The thought of some life-sized rabbit just hopping around like it’s nobody’s business while scattering eggs at random just seems too bizarre to not be questioned. I cannot be the only person to question the practices of Easter.
First of all, I like rabbits the size they are. They are meant to be smaller than a house cat and hop on all fours, definitely not walk upright like a human! I can honestly say I have never once witnessed an Easter Bunny costume that I wasn’t absolutely terrified of. Every single costume I have seen since I can remember has soul-sucking eyes.
Don’t let me rain on everyone’s parade. My cynical views of holiday characters should not infringe on your cheery thoughts of the holidays. I, too, enjoy a reason to celebrate just as much as the next. Hell, I love holidays. I just feel like everyone should take a second and look closer into the mythical representatives we designate for them and ask ourselves are these merry figureheads or just a gang of creepy cohorts?
Lauren Gray studies journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @The Sagebrush.