There’s a lot to love about Santa Claus—he’s jolly, generous, and a huge fan of cookies. Although we don’t often talk about it, he also happens to be a hardened criminal—and an extremely judgmental one at that.
That’s right: Santa is not the kindly old man we’ve imagined all these years. From a legal standpoint, it’s easy to see just how crooked the guy really is. In fact, he deserves a distinguished spot at the top of the naughty list. Let’s take a look at a few of the crimes Santa commits every single year:
It’s time to ditch the charming workshop image and call the North Pole what it really is: an illegal sweatshop. Santa’s elven employees deserve reasonable hours, regular breaks, and overtime pay during the busy weeks leading up to Christmas. Instead, they work non-stop for no pay.
In an age of constant privacy breaches, we’re shockingly relaxed about Santa’s ongoing access to our personal lives. He sees us when we’re sleeping and knows when we’re awake—talk about creepy!
Santa’s privacy crimes are even more apparent now that Europe has adopted the General Data Protection Regulation, which applies not only to organizations located within the EU, but also those offering goods or services to individuals living there. Under the GDPR, consent must be freely given before private information can be collected.
As far as we know, Santa has never asked for permission prior to spying on kids. He’s even tracking this sensitive personal data in what amounts to a magical spreadsheet—The List.
Breaking and Entering
Santa seems to think that he can break into our private homes without paying the consequences. His chimney-based method of breaking and entering may be festive, but it’s also highly illegal.
Worse, he seems to think that it’s perfectly acceptable to demand snacks as a reward for breaking in and leaving packages all over the floor. Everybody hates the office fridge thief, but they’re perfectly willing to let Santa snatch cookies and milk from their homes—and no one even bothers to leave him passive-aggressive notes!
Drivers dread parking tickets, which seem to magically appear the moment we accidentally enter the wrong spot. Santa, however, is free to park on any roof he pleases. His heavy sleigh could easily damage more vulnerable structures, but that doesn’t seem to bother Mr. Claus. Nor does he appear to have any qualms with leaving a herd of reindeer unsupervised on top of a building.
Every Christmas Eve, Santa violates a whole host of Federal Aviation Administration regulations. He doesn’t hold the proper license to be piloting an aircraft in the first place—and it shows, as he’s either unaware of or unconcerned about the risks posed by performing unscheduled landings on residential rooftops. He also lacks the proper clearance required to enter restricted areas, but that doesn’t seem to stop him from flying right through them.
Drinking and Driving
American families leave Santa milk and cookies, but alternative treats are customary in other locations. In some areas of Australia, for example, families are kind enough to treat Santa to a cold beer. Too bad his Christmas activities aren’t limited to bar hopping. With each beer, he gets a little tipsier—and a little more reckless. Yes, he’s merry, but that won’t change his breathalyzer results.
Intellectual Property Infringement
Once upon a time, Santa delivered generic wooden toys made by overworked elves. Today, however, he essentially serves as a one-man version of Amazon Prime. Many of his most requested gifts are brand name toys and devices. Unfortunately for their creators, he doesn’t pay royalty fees.
Why, exactly, do we put up with Santa’s shenanigans? Because he bribes our kids with gifts! Somehow, we’re willing to look the other way, even though white-collar criminals are regularly hit with huge fines and lengthy prison sentences due to bribery scandals.
Someday, if justice is served, Santa will pay for his many crimes. Awareness is the first step; the more we know about the man’s lawbreaking, the better we’ll feel about eating those cookies ourselves and shooing him off our rooftops.