Santa sits on his comfy blue couch in the mall, the same mall where I work, and talks to little children all day, promising them goodies. I hurry in to the high-end kitchen store and Santa gives me a quick wave.
Our store traffic is pretty steady, but during a brief lull from ringing up customers, I decide to ask the question no one ever dared to ask before: Is Santa Jewish?
My co-friend M is Jewish, so I thought for sure he would know. He looks me straight in the eye and says, “I never really thought about it before, but now that you mention it, yes, yes, I think he definitely could be Jewish. I mean, it makes more sense for him to celebrate Hanukkah because he’s very busy on the 24th, and I’ll bet he just sleeps all day on the 25th, after pulling an all-nighter like that.”
Lisa, a seasonal employee, has been listening intently. “Maybe Santa is Jesus?” she offers. Huh, this possibility never occurred to me.
Clint, another Christmas salesclerk, asks, “MOV, do you have any evidence to back up your crazy claim?”
He calls my claim crazy? That Santa is Jewish? But it’s not crazy to, oh, fly in the sky in a sled pulled by animals that normally don't fly and go to all the houses in the world and deliver toys to people you don’t know, and accomplish this feat is, say, 8 hours? My hypothesis is looking pretty sane, actually.
“I’ve never seen Santa at church on Christmas day. I’ve never heard of anyone giving Santa a present—”
“That’s not true,” Jackie (a devout Mormon) interrupts. “All the kids put out milk and cookies for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.”
“That’s just a snack. That doesn’t even count,” I rally. “Let’s talk stereotypes. The common perception about Jewish people is that they are wealthy, that they are really good with investing. If you are going to give that much stuff away, expensive stuff, then you must be wealthy.”
I’ve got their attention now. They’re all nodding.
“Furthermore, I think—” I'm rambling when The Boss walks up.
“What's this little pow-wow?” she says, irked. “Can one of you restock some shelves please, we are out of gingersnaps, and the Chocolate Polar Bear candy display is getting low, too.”
“I was just saying that I think Santa Claus in Jewish,” I explain.
She rolls her eyes at me, and says, “He’s obviously a Buddhist. Have you not seen that belly?”