Saturday, 24 December 2011

Guest Blog: Santa Writes to the Children of the EU

Dear Children of the European Union,

Greetings from Finland! Yes, I am Finnish, despite what you might have heard from people on the other side of the Atlantic. And yes, they do call me "Christmas Goat" (joulupukki) here, but it's got nothing to do with how I smell, OK?

Anyhow, I wanted to write a letter to you, because I think I need to set expectations this year.

As you can imagine, I receive many letters, emails, text messages, Facebook pokes and Twitter #FFs. I know all of you are expecting lots of presents from me this year. But it has also come to my notice that some of you kids have not really held your side of the bargain. Mae West may have said "when I'm good, I'm very good, but when I am bad, I'm better", but that certainly does not apply to kids. Not in my world at least.

Let's start with you, the rich kids in London, Frankfurt, Paris (and don't get me started on your mates in New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo). So you borrow toys from each other, decide to play reckless games with them, and end up breaking them to smithereens. Then what? You go begging the poor kids in the neighbourhood for more toys and, despite the stern warning from your parents ("don't be reckless again, or else...we will be forced to.... really annoyed"), you start all over again with your silly games. You deserve a good spanking. [Note: I am not in favour of corporal punishment, but in your case I think I will make an exception].

Next we have all you kids (especially around the Mediterranean) who don't want to go to school, at least not for too long, and then want Mum and Dad to pay for your life of leisure ad perpetuam. That's just not how it works, you know. There are things that kids need to do, such as go to school, help their Mums and Dads, eat their greens and tidy their bedrooms. You just can't expect others to do it for you.

Speaking of tidying bedrooms.... Georgios, Georgios, Georgios - what were you thinking? You get your room into such a mess that you find it impossible to tidy it up. Then you go begging your cousins Angela, Little Nicholas, Jyrki and a few others to come and help you. When they finally accept, you announce that you will have to check with your toys whether they actually want to be tidied up. Of course they don't! They are quite happy lying around there doing nothing! No wonder Angela and Little Nicholas were upset. You certainly won't be getting presents from me this year - not unless you give me some of your best toys as guarantee of your future good behaviour.

Oh, by the way David, no need to be so smug about all this. Before you go telling others how to tidy up, check out your own bedroom!

As for Silvio... I guess it must be the hormones.

Anyhow, I also need to impart some bad news from here in Finnish Lapland. This year, I had to buy a new sledge, and it cost me twice what I would have had to pay in other EU countries because of heavy taxes in Finland (I could have got around this by living in Denmark for a year, but like everyone else in Europe including the Danes, I can't understand a word they say there). So needless to say, funds are a bit tight this year.

At the same time, I am also coming under pressure from some of my elves who feel I should stop distributing presents in the EU, and focus on Finland instead. They also want to limit the number of foreign elves working for me. So all is not well at Santa HQ.

All this to say, I will do my best, but no promises this year.

Merry Christsmas,


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