The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back to a monk named St. Nicholas, whose legend evolved from his Dutch nickname Sinter Klaas. The monk in real life was known for his kindness and generosity. In modern times, Santa is known for his red suit, reindeers, elves, and jolly attitude. But the truth is, our beloved St. Nick is also a bit of a criminal mastermind. Yep, nice Mr. Claus can sometimes be naughty to get the job done.
Here are five ways Santa is a rulebreaker:
1. Breaking & Entering
If someone came down your chimney late at night, you’d probably call the police. In the U.S., breaking and entering is a felony for which you can face serious jail time. Additionally, trespassing can be added to Santa’s list of felonies — as he enters private property to consume that milk and cookies.
2. Traveling without a passport
Santa enjoys global travel without any restrictions while the rest of humanity has to deal with long security lines and checkpoints. In the U.S. alone the NHTS reports that “during the 6-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (to and from a destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 54 percent, and during the Christmas/New Year’s Holiday period the number rises by 23 percent, compared to the average number for the remainder of the year.” And in the U.K, according to the AA, about 6.7 million journeys of 20 miles or more are expected be made on Christmas Day. That’s a lot of traveling!
Since Santa has no passport that means he doesn’t go through customs. So he’s essentially smuggling in every present, a crime that’s punishable by 20 years in prison, a fine, or both. It’s no wonder Mr. Claus tries to skip the line given that U.S. Customs and Border patrol has processed 1,026,234 passengers and pedestrians in a single day!
4. Invasion of privacy
How does Santa know who is on the nice or naughty list? How does that song go? “He sees you when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake…” Big brother has nothing on the global surveillance Kris Kringle has. Is he Facebook stalking you too?
5. OSHA and Santa’s elves
Santa gives away millions of toys each year, but does he even pay his elves? Do they have employee benefits? Does Santa ensure a safe work environment? All these are questions that OSHA would have a field day with. Just to give you an idea of how hard Santa’s elves work, toy sales totaled $87.4 billion globally from 2007 to 2015. In the United States alone, toy sales in 2016 were $20.36 billion. This year the elves are busy remaking past favorites with a lil’ tech inside of them. Remember Teddy Ruxpin? Well, he’s got a couple of tech upgrades, like Bluetooth, LCD eyes, and more! Man, Santa’s elves do need a vacation!
BONUS: His impersonators are really creepy
All those Santa impersonators in the mall are quite a scam when you think about it. Kids aren’t getting the real deal! Why aren’t these bearded identity thieves arrested for fraud, a crime that is punishable by up to three years in prison?