My list this year is long, but I have been a good boy. Well, yes, I did yearn to be naughty, but my 97 years denied me the pleasure, so I am eligible.
But, Santa, I do worry about you. Your splendid isolation up there at the North Pole will soon be open ocean forcing you to join the millions of migrants fleeing droughts, fires, floods, hunger, lack of shelter, persecution, and wars. It is not the picture for which we all have strived.
Where can you go?
Surveying the Polar regions I see the Russians have done the best job in making theirs habitable. But your closest refuge is 817 kilometres away at Alert on the northeast coast of Ellesmere Island at 82:30 N in Nunavut, Canada. Its airport, score of buildings, weather and communications equipment and its people may be somewhat like a metropolis to you but they are few and lonely and would welcome you. The few military and environmental personnel are on one-year tours minus families. I am sure they would help you make all those toys. Scientists swell the population to 250 in the summer months. You would still have isolation as the nearest other weather station is 480 km away and the nearest city, Iqaluit, 2,092 kilometres distant.
But, Santa, making and delivering toys is only a small part of what I need from you. First, I must warn you not to be mislead if you flee to Alert, It is not typical. You have been isolated at the North Pole and, whereas you and your reindeer are to be commended for a job well done, allow me, who has spent many years in communities like Alert, to offer some advice. Alert lacks even a hint of the masses of humanity, guns, greed, and ignorance that lurk out there.
Have you ever considered branching out to help those struggling in the fields of population control, finding a method of vaporizing guns, especially nuclear weapons, education including modifying mindsets to ostracize greed, expanding empathy and love to grow into a universal force, and engineering a benign energy source?
Sorry, Santa, I see I am presenting a task too monumental even for you. You must forget your go-it-alone habit and open your arms to those anxious to help. We could start with your reindeer who have been overworked and who have lacked an embracive sense of geography. Do you not realize that, every Christmas eve, they miss most of the world’s children?
You do know how good deeds can expand from small beginnings. You, as Nicholas the monk in Patara, Turkey, about 280 AD, became a bishop, well known for your generosity, so word of you was brought to the New World by Vikings, Dutch, and Germans to become the Santa Claus we love today.
But, really Santa, you are not unique but are joined by winter gift-givers from 67 countries around the world, on top of the 14 who use you. Do you ever think of joining forces and enlarging your scopes?
Just think, Santa, by joining like-minded groups you could compose an agenda that, of course, would be based on gifts to children but that could now include influencing young mindsets, schools, and behaviours.
You do need to revamp religions to return them to being a solace and providing humane direction for humans in a cruel world. Sadly, Religion has grown into one huge mess, In Christianity alone the original four versions have exploded to some 34,000 differing groups some of which go as far as condemning to hell’s fire those who do not adhere to their “right” version. Islam can also be bad. Offhand I can think of some 40 subdivisions, some commendable but then there are unsavoury extremes like Wahhabism that Saudi Arabia provides vast sums to promote by building numerous schools that mould and control young minds.
Yes, it is an immense task including Agnosticism, Animism. Female Gods, all the way to Zoroastrianism.
Santa, although you deserve to relax and rest on your magnificent laurels, we must ask you for even greater sacrifices. Our environment and our species face extinction because too many humans know not what they do. As the Jesuits claimed “Give us your children until they are seven years of age and we will have them for life.”
Over a few hundred years you have cemented your base. The toys you make for children should tolerate no guns, no offensive weapons of any sort. They would promote games and equipment that entailed co-operation and friendly interaction with others.
Santa, I do wish you a Merry Christmas - but I also ask you to leap into the Field of Education.
Ye Olde Scribe www.yeoldescribe.com