Is Santa a Criminal?

By Henry Luo, ’24

Each year when Christmas rolls around, everyone’s favourite rotund old man sets off in his sleigh and dashes around the world to give presents to nice kids.  Who can criticize such beneficiary intentions? Despite this noble cause, Santa Claus is running an unconventional business at best. At worst, the jolly old fool is breaking many laws with his recklessness and, some may argue, creepy behaviours. 

1) Illegal surveillance 

He sees you when you’re sleepin’, he knows when you’re awak. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness’ sake.

​Even before Christmas rolls around, Santa is conducting 24/7 surveillance on the world’s 1.9 billion children without their consent. Seriously, Santa knows the details of a child’s life down to whether or not they have slept at night. Not only that, he keeps such meticulous track of all the children’s actions, that he can then sort them into his “naughty” and “nice” lists. This extreme level of mass surveillance is certainly illegal around the world, especially as it concerns minors.

2) Airspace violations

While on his jaunt around the globe, Santa Claus would enter the airspace of every single country. Does he have proper clearance? Probably not. Does he even have a Visa? Let’s be realistic. While he is surprisingly not shot down by the airforce of every country, it still does not mean that his travels are authorized. His ability to even travel through airspaces with active conflict is a testament to his potentially dangerous next-generation stealth camouflage. 

3) Labour law violations 

Santa Claus enforces unfair working conditions. The thousands of elves that Santa employs do not receive insurance, a salary, or any kind of benefits. It’s unlikely a union exists for them either. Moreover, it is unknown if the position of labour in Santa’s factory was voluntary for the elves. The most likely scenario? Santa’s factory is a sweatshop at the North Pole. With no safety regulations, no worker benefits, no sick pay, and no holidays, it can be said that Santa is exploiting the elves. 

Santa’s crimes do not simply stop here. There is a laundry list of violations he has committed in his long career. To list only a few, Father Christmas could be charged with: 

  • breaking and entering
  • trademark infringement
  • patent infringement
  • speeding
  • animal cruelty
  • tariff evasion and lack of proper licenses
  • insurance and registration for his factory and sleigh

Luckily for Santa, he has managed to evade any attempts — not that there are many — to hold him accountable to the law thus far. His actions, however, cannot go unpunished. So, if you ever see Santa lurking around your house, consider calling the police. 

Stay safe, and have a merry Christmas. 

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