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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Students terrified by the true meaning of Christmas

Bianca Oppedisano
Santa Claus lays in a bubble bath, fully clothed and holding a glass of eggnog. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, a holiday party was roaring up! It was a merry time for all, when all of a sudden, something crashed through the wall and into the apartment. Santa sat in his sleigh, snoring loudly and reeking of eggnog. But before we dive into all the details of Santa’s situation, first things first. Whose apartment did he crash into?

Julie and Letishia were both roommates, living near their college and struggling to pay rent. Being a UMass Boston student, or a college student in general, can be a tough ordeal. That’s why they were hoping to forget their worries for one night only at their Christmas Eve party. They likely would have succeeded, if not for Kris Kringle ramming into their place of residence.

“It was pretty scary, obviously,” said Letishia in an interview, “but after the initial shock, we were all like, ‘ohmigod, Santa Claus is in our apartment!” Everyone sat around and waited for the jolly one to wake up and do something merry. Yet, when he finally opened his eyes, they immediately filled with tears.

“He started crying about how hard Christmas was this year. Apparently one kid wanted a copy of ‘The Communist Manifesto’ for Christmas,” said Julie. “I guess one of the elves flipped through it before he wrapped it up. Suddenly, all of the elves were complaining about exploitative labor and tried to get a movement started. It wasn’t a full on revolution, but they did start up a union.” Even as Julie recounted this to the press, I could see Santa getting emotional at the rundown of his own predicament. Yes—he was still crashing at Julie’s.

Julie proceeded with the rest of the story: “Santa stood up and shouted at me, ‘The elves started calling me a pig! I assumed it was a weight thing at first, but they said it was because I am a capitalist—whatever that is.’ Then Letishia asked him, ‘You don’t know what a capitalist is? Like aren’t you supposed to be all-knowing or something?’ Santa replied, ‘Maybe I’d have time to read a book, if I wasn’t spending all year getting ready for Christmas. How would you like it if there was just no Santa this year? No presents under the tree?’ We all began to tell him that he had stopped giving us presents long ago, and he marched back into the bathroom.”

“We never invited him to stay here,” said Julie. “He kind of just invited himself. We don’t have any extra rooms, so he’s been sleeping in the bathtub.” As we walked the reporter to the bathroom, I could hear Father Christmas loudly singing a tonally offensive rendition of Mariah Carey’s, “All I want for Christmas is You.” Upon our arrival—and even covered in spilled eggnog and dried tears—Santa was more than eager to continue the story.

“So, I went to tell my problems to Mrs. Claus, and guess what? She sided with the elves. At that point the union became something…bigger. There was a full on mutiny in the North Pole! I knew that my time was near an end, so I grabbed what I could and took off on my sled as fast as possible. Only Prancer was attached at the time, and one reindeer can only carry you so far before giving out, so here I am.” I asked him what happened to Prancer, but he wouldn’t talk about that.

Instead, he talked about another reindeer. “Everyone thinks I’m so mean, but look at how I treated Rudolph. As soon as I saw his nose could light up the sky, I asked him to guide my sleigh. Then, when I saw he was useful, I made use of him.” I asked him if that was possibly the problem the elves were acting against. Maybe he only saw people in terms of what he could get out of them. “Nonsense! Pure poppycock! Now where are those two girls who are letting me use their apartment?” I asked him if he knew their names, but he said it didn’t matter.

Christmas day came and went. We spent the entire day keeping track of whether or not kids would get their presents this year. When Santa saw that the elves had made his deliveries for him without needing any of his “guidance,” he began to question himself. Deciding he needed to do some soul searching, he bid us all goodbye. However, he said that he would grant us all one wish.

“I just want to know… what’s the true meaning of Christmas?” said Julie. “When I was a kid, it was just about presents. But material things don’t mean that much to me anymore. Then people said it’s about spending time with those you value, but that gets so much harder as you grow older and settle in different places. What is it that drove you to give children presents every Christmas?” Julie spoke for all of us.

“Very well, I’ll tell you,” he said. Reader, what was spoken is not suitable for print. Julie has not stopped crying. Letishia has sworn off every holiday except for Hoodie Hoo Day. And I…I have dedicated the rest of my life to burying the truth, which burned my ears. So, I will not wish you a Merry Christmas, but I will wish you a good night, for it is better to remain sleeping, my friends.

About the Contributors
Kyle Makkas, Humor Writer
Bianca Oppedisano, Illustrator