SO Santa’s job is safe for another year. The jingle of sleigh bells won’t be drowned out by the whir of robot rotor blades this festive season.
Amazon will not be sending in the drones to deliver your 2015 Christmas presents as confidently predicted… although maybe next year, if unmanned, commercial aerial vehicles are legalised that soon.
I’m not sure if I should be singing Allellujah or Hohoho-sanna, but I’m jolly pleased for Santa, who’s facing the biggest threat to his future since radiators made chimneys redundant (though I still keep mine swept for him).
But he’d better watch out or he won’t be coming to town for much longer, drones or no drones.
I’m fond of the jolly pipe-chomping boozer with the off-the-scale Body Mass Index whose name is an anagram for Satan. But he’s far from the ideal role model for children in these politically correct times.
On top of the smoking and drinking, the wearing of animal fur and the clinical obesity, no sane parents leave their child alone in a grotto with a stranger in a red ermine-trimmed bathrobe (although mine did, a long time ago).
It’s no secret that Santa advertised tobacco and guns during the First and Second World Wars. He exploits the vertically-challenged in his factories (where I’ve heard he refers to his elves as subordinate clauses), and fuels rampant consumerism.
He’s even been branded a climate criminal in some quarters for his global travel itinerary’s giant carbon footprint. But that’s not strictly true. Reindeer eat moss and lichen so the sleigh runs on biofuel.
But he needs to smarten up his act with some pukka credentials. So this year (even though he never comes down my chimney) I’m going to buy Santa a present: a course at the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Michigan, offering diplomas since 1937 in resume writing, media studies, beard grooming, reindeer handling and accountancy.
The world needs Santa and not only because you can’t snog a drone under the mistletoe. Jake Gyllenhaal looked hot sporting a Santa hat and a six pack in Jarhead. He’d just look daft dressed as a drone.
Parents need the disciplinary incentive of Santa’s ‘naughty and nice’ list. With drones, all bad kids need is a smart device and Mum’s credit card details.
And, as US TV producer-turned-professional-Santa Jonathan Meath told Time magazine, “Santa is the only cultural icon we have who’s male and doesn’t carry a gun.”
Happily, drone technology has yet to work out how Santa fits an orange, a bag of nuts and a cuddly toy into a child-sized sock. Besides which, half the magic for kids on Christmas Eve is leaving out sherry and mince pies for Santa (to be scoffed by adults later).
It won’t be half as much fun if drones take over — unless you’re partial to batteries.