Editorial – Dear Santa

Dear Santa, I know you’ve probably already heard the latest news from Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, the acting U.S. Surgeon General.

And I know that, being a wise old gent, you’ll ignore it. But I just had to write and let you know that this business about you setting a bad example by being a little, um, plump, is the most incorrect politically correct nonsense to come drifting up the chimney in a while.

When the Surgeon General told the Boston Herald that you should slim down, I’m sure he meant well. After all, he has a point that It’s ?really important that the people who kids look up to as role models are in good shape, eating well and getting exercise.?

I think he’s forgetting, though, that we shouldn’t judge our role models on one narrow characteristic?especially not one as superficial as looks.

In fact, Santa, I’d like to remind all those jumping on the trendy thinner-red-suit bandwagon that this is just one more example of style overshadowing substance in our appearance-obsessed society. If the Surgeon General is really concerned with having good role models, he needs look no further than the end of your jolly red nose.

For starters, you and Mrs. Claus are a shining example of the sense of emotional well-being that comes from a happy, stable relationship. You’ve been together forever and still seem as much in love today as when you met. We all know the emotional and societal upheaval that comes from unhappy relationships, divorce, and unsafe sex. These issues always end up affecting the kids, and in an age where movie stars and pop icons collect (and discard) spouses faster than you can twinkle an eye, you and Mrs. Claus present a model of devotion and constancy?perhaps the only one some kids ever see.

You’ve also given up smoking. For a guy that was hooked on pipe tobacco as far back as the 1800s, That’s no small feat. Not only are you a good role model for kids to not start smoking, you also walk the walk when it comes to showing your tiny admirers they can do anything they set their minds to.

Your kindness to animals is legendary. I mean, Rudolph and the others have been with you since they were calves. they’re well fed, their coats shine, and, in all the photos I’ve ever seen, they look happy. (There are rumours this has something to do with all that magical flying dust, but I prefer to think It’s because you take such good care of them.) All those kids who get puppies, kittens, or iguanas for Christmas would do well to follow your lead.

Perhaps most important of all, you set an example of love and acceptance for everyone. Even before tolerance and inclusion were the catchwords of the day, long before John Lennon sang ?Imagine,? your annual journeys knew no boundaries. True, not every household in the world believes in you, but wherever You’re welcomed you bring happiness. In your eyes, there are no colours, no countries, no prejudices?only kids.

So, Santa, for what It’s worth, ignore the critics who tell you You’re setting a bad example by being too fat. You bring out the best in us, setting an example of giving without asking anything in return. To your naysayers, I counter It’s your generous spirit, not your generous girth, they should be looking at.

Oh, and one more thing, Santa. Merry Christmas.

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