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The Paw Print

The Paw Print

Advice Column: Letters to Santa for Naughty Listers

Ava Taylor

It’s a scene we all know well. You’re sitting at the dining room table at the start of Thanksgiving break, writing a letter to Santa. Your parents told you it’s important to get it out of the way now so Santa can catch all the good Black Friday deals. Unfortunately for you, there’s a little problem with your letter: you haven’t been good at all this year. In fact, in the choice words of your teacher’s first quarter comments, you may have even been “frequently tardy, not engaged with the material and distracting to other students in class.”

Never fear! We don’t yet live in George Orwell’s idea of a socialist hellscape, which means you’re a free person with the right to free speech. This includes the freedom to stretch the truth, cover your tracks and omit your worst moments. I, obviously, wouldn’t know anything about lying, because I am an angel and everything I do is perfect. However, if I hypothetically had been an annoying little snitch this year, here are some strategies I might employ to convince Santa that I definitely do need a new $599.99 Dyson Airwrap:

1. Distract by Talking about Current Events

On a totally related note, have you heard the latest election news? What about the conflict in that ex-British colony? Or the social media influencer who’s opening their own school in Florida? Or the crop failures in Antarctica? Gosh, it just seems like the world is so terrible lately, doesn’t it? Even if you may have gossiped behind your friends’ backs all year, it’s only because you were ever so distressed about the state of the world today. It would probably be smart for Santa to just go ahead and buy you the new pair of UGGs you’ve hypothetically been wanting—you know, to keep you warm while you wait for the power to turn back on after the electric company goes bankrupt… or whatever. A SodaStream might also be helpful, so you have something to drink when the next zombie apocalypse happens and you can’t go to the grocery store. Who knows, the entire North Pole might have melted by this time next year because of climate change, so if I were Santa, I’d go all out this year, just in case.

2. Compare Yourself to Others, Shedding Yourself in a Positive Light

The answer has been sitting next to you the whole time: your younger sibling! Granted, you may have failed your permit test three times because you never studied, but remember that one time your sibling got a C on their math quiz? Exactly. What would Santa have to say about that? Take this time in your letter to really get into the nitty-gritty details of your sibling’s mishaps, including everything you promised them you wouldn’t tell your parents about. After all, your parents aren’t the ones reading the letter. Better yet, use this opportunity to vent about everything your parents have been doing that you hate. Santa may want to remind you about the Prom after party, but does he know about that one time your parents forced you to take out the trash against your will? Didn’t think so. As punishment for being an obvious defender of child maltreatment, Santa should probably just get you that Dior blush you’ve been asking for.

3. Convince Santa You Will Need this Item for Your Future

Most of you are going to move out of your parents’ house in the next couple of years, and many of you will attend yet another academic institution. This is a huge hardship for you, to be honest, and you deserve a little reward for all your hard work. Sure, you may have built your college list based on which schools have the best Greek life and then forgotten to submit half of your applications by the deadline. However, if Santa wants you to get really good grades next year, what better motivation than to buy you a new iPad and Apple Pencil? Better yet, he can get you that Lululemon sweatpant set you’ll definitely need if you’re going somewhere cold, or a Stanley Cup if you’re staying local. All of these items aren’t even gifts. They’re necessities. You’ve earned them.

4. Disguise Your Wish List as a Satirical Advice Column for the School Newspaper

Now, obviously, I’ve never done any of the things on this list, but this last point is the one I’m least familiar with. I would only recommend it as a last resort.

Hopefully these strategies will help you get a few more of the meaningless items on your Christmas list. Remember, you don’t owe Santa anything—you’re innocent until proven guilty. If these don’t work, it’s because I’ve never had to use any of them, so I would have no idea if they’re good or not. Best of luck, and I wish all of you a happy holiday season filled with joyous, mindless consumerism!

Yours in questionable ethics,


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About the Contributor
Maddie Hays
Maddie Hays, Life Editor
Grade: 12 Years on Staff: 4 Fun Fact: I've been to 8 countries and 25 US states. Favorite Books: The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
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