Is Santa Running a Sweatshop?

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Recently, world-renowned Christmas critic and occasional disruptor, The Grinch, has accused Santa Claus of exploiting thousands of elves and mistreating animals at Mr. Claus’s secretive North Pole compound.

Earlier this month, the Grinch, who normally commutes between his homes in Los Angeles and Milan, embarked on a multi-city campaign accusing Santa Claus of running a sweatshop. The charges have come as a shock to millions of children and parents around the globe. Retails groups have particularly been hit hard. A representative for Macy’s who wanted to remain anonymous expressed horror and disbelief. “In a shaky economy, this is the last thing we needed!”

The Grinch has made the following accusations:

  • St. Nick has for centuries been exploiting innumerable elves, keeping them in inhuman conditions with little or no pay. The elves are worked to death and complaints will get them expelled into the bitter cold.
  • Conditions in the North Pole are brutal and the reindeer are not being kept in adequate conditions.
  • One reindeer in particular has not received proper medical attention, and its nose has developed a severe disorder causing it to bleed.

Milk & Cookies Corp., Mr. Claus’s company, has issued the following statement which is reprinted here in its entirety:

NORTH POLE, 25 DEC. 2007

The Milk & Cookies Company has learned about the accusations made by the execrable Grinch. Let a candid world know the truth.

First of all, our factory conditions follow the highest industry standards, and our safety record is exemplary. Over hundreds of years we have continually improved work standards; we are a leader in high-quality, high-volume manufacturing. Exploiting our workers would destroy our good name and reputation. Further, it would lead to a dramatic reduction in the quality and output of our employees.

To the charge that the reindeer are exposed to terrible conditions, we say: utter nonsense. The reindeer are arctic creatures that are able to withstand the coldest of temperatures. Indeed, they thrive when they’re outside. Nonetheless, we still provide them with spacious, heated stables and plenty of food. There is a veterinary on our premises around the clock.

The Grinch is being disingenuous when implying that one of the reindeer, Rudolph, has a medical condition. Nothing could be further from the truth. Though rare, his condition is genetic. Rudolph is perfectly healthy. And no, he is not bleeding; his nose is just bright red.

It is the opinion Mr. Claus and the board of directors of Milk & Cookies that The Grinch is once again debunked as an anti-Christmas farce. Incapable of understanding one iota about exchange, the market economy and charity, he has resorted to lies and smears.

Our solid traditions of high-quality craftsmanship, built over centuries of innovation, demonstrate our commitment to the spirit of Christmas and to our billions of satisfied customers. No amount of disparaging comments, especially from The Grinch, can take that away.

Mr. Claus himself could not be reached for comment as the workload over the last few days has kept him superbly busy. Mrs. Claus, however, had a message: “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch!”

One of our journalists is reporting that Frosty had become so agitated and worked up about The Grinch’s declarations that he had began to melt. He has been given a mild sedative and moved outside. He is expected to fully recover.

Manuel Lora [send him mail] works at Cornell University as a TV and multimedia producer. Visit his blog.

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