“Ho, Ho, Ho, I have returned my lovely wife. How are the elves?”
Wife doesn’t look up, but busily scrubs plates in bubbled water.
“They’re fine,” she says nonchalantly.
“It’s been a good year, delivering toys to the children.” The Husband says as he plops in his large chair. “Almost every house had cookies and milk.”
Wife doesn’t respond and places a finished dish next to tall rows of neatly stacked plates.
“What are we having for dinner, sweetheart?”
“Nothing you say? I’m sure I stacked enough meat to last throughout the winter.”
Wife slams a plate onto a pile.
“Don’t you see what I’m dealing with!?”
“But the elves are supposed to handle the cleaning, honey,”
“Yeah well, nearly all of them are sick from Covid.”
Husband is silent.
“I warned you not to work them this year, BUT NOOO! ‘We can’t disappoint the children, we can’t shame the family name’. I’ve been standing here for twelve hours washing a never ending pile of dishes cause my cookie-eating husband doesn’t want to-”
Wife holds up her hand.
“You know what? I’ve had it.”
Wife stomps towards the cabinet, opens it, pulls out an envelope and slams it on the table in front of the white bearded man. The husband glances at the paper and at his wife who stands there with her arms folded.
“Is this what I think it is?”
“Everything. The Reindeer, the elves, the yearly requests, all of it.”
“We get requests every year; its been this way for centuries.”
“Yeah, but, back then, we had what they called, ‘A naughty and a nice list’ and all we had to do for the naughty kids is send them a lump of coal. You said that we needed to include EVERYONE so no one would feel left out. That means triple production. We aren’t exactly making nutcrackers and wooden toys, you know. These days, kids want Playstation, Xboxes, phones or whatever God-forsaken contraptions they’re into these days.”
“Well, I figured we modernized, you know… keep up with the times.”
“Well, you forgot that you don’t have magic. All of this… requires time, materials, food- do you have any idea how much elves eat? Jesus! It’s like one of them can eat for five people. At first, it was fine cause we used wood to make the toys, and I enjoyed the smell of oak in the cold winters, but now, I can’t get the smell of glue and plastic off my clothes.”
“Come now, sweetheart, I’m sure we can work something out… It doesn’t have to be like this.”
“No, we can’t! I’m a hundred and seventy years old and I don’t want to spend the next Millenium slaving around sexually repressed creatures who like to stare at me while I’m sleeping. And ever since Corona struck, I’ve been scooping up reindeer poop from the stables for an entire day; I’ve had enough.”
The husband opens the envelope and examines the document.
“HALF THE REINDEER!?” Santa leaps from the chair.
“Dancer, Prancer, Comet and Vixen; we split Rudolf. I have him during the summer, you have him for the winter.”
“How am I supposed to deliver the presents?”
“You could start by losing some weight.”