Letters to Santa

Submitted into Contest #176 in response to: Write a story told from the point of view of an animal.... view prompt


Christmas Fantasy Fiction

To: The editor 

    The Washington Post

I am writing on behalf of the entire community of the North Pole to clear up a few misconceptions as well as answer some of the most common questions that I’ve come across in letters to Santa Claus.  My name is Vixon. In case you don’t recognize my name, I’m reindeer number four.   I’m often mistakenly known as reindeer number five because of the Rudolph misunderstanding - he is not reindeer number one; he’s number nine.   We worked as a team of eight for years before Rudolph joined the squad.

Before I get to the questions, I’d like to note that my book, “The Physics of Christmas”, covers everything in this letter and more in greater detail, but the book hasn’t found a home with a publishing house as of this writing.  I’m hopeful it’ll be out by Christmas next year.  I’d also like to make it clear that I am not actually writing this letter.  It’d be tough to type with hooves, and a pencil wouldn’t be any easier.  I have an elf taking dictation.  Before you ask the question, the sharp portion of the upper ear of elves allow them to differentiate the tones of animals for communication.  Sorry to disappoint anyone who was hoping for talking reindeer.  So...

How does Santa get to all the houses in one night?

This is a great question to start with.  I’ve seen some of those TV movies hypothesizing about how it’s done - yeah, that’s right, hypothesizing.  Here’s the facts.  It’s not magic or time freezing or anything like that!  It is, however, wormholes!  Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking we’re both lucky enough to catch us in action.  They were young, so they just got a grasp of what was going on.  By the way, that Einstein, he was a biter.   He was certainly on the naughty list the next year.  One more thing about the whole ‘world in one night’ illusion... there really aren’t as many houses to get to as you’d think.  First of all, we only go to houses with children on the nice list- the coal is a metaphor.   Second, the parents have to be believers as well as the children.   What, with castle doctrines in some states and these modern security systems, we’d be sitting ducks.  No way.  Ninety nine percent of our job is done by non-believing parents buying their kids the toys.  You can be sure if a toy has a manufacture’s MSRP on it, your parents don’t believe in Santa.

How old is Santa?

This one is easy - he’s old.  Santa claims he’s as old as his tongue and a little bit older than his teeth, but we’re talking Old Testament old.  So how is he still alive?  One word - cryogenics.  We’re based in the North Pole for the age defying arctic temperature, and for no other reason.

What are the elves like?

They are great.  Of course with old Scripty taking notation, what else am I going to say?  No, no, I kid.  Elves are like any other group of people.  Most are hard working good people, but we have our bad eggs.  I think Bob Dylan said it best when describing life in a cold climate, “ It’s too cold to be bad.”  They are pretty busy singing and toy building, so most of us get along fine.  The little ones can be a pain sometimes, especially when they get to ‘tail pulling’.  Of course, there are the teenagers. I say send them to the south pole until their hormones even out.  But that’s just one reindeer’s opinion.

How do reindeer fly?

I wrote an entire piece on this and sent it to several science journals for peer review.  Not a one would publish me.  To keep it short, it’s not magic corn feed or anything like that.  Have you seen a hummingbird or a bumblebee fly?  It doesn’t seem possible, but they do.  I won’t spoil all the showmanship that Santa is famous for, but for those interested, it’s about lift, drag, and reindeer fur.

How does Santa fit all the toys in that bag?

I think this question misses the point of who is doing the heavy lifting.  Maybe it’s me, but I’d ask how do the reindeer pull that load - strength, conditioning, and carrot protein powder.  I get it though.  Santa is the show, so I’ll give it to you straight.  Traveling through wormholes at the high speed that a well-trained pack of reindeer can achieve causes a shift in the center of gravity, and when coupled with the relative distance from the center of the earth, creates a decreased density in the matter.  We reindeer and Santa avoid this density shift thanks to the oil baked into the very cookies you good people leave for us.

That’s just a few of the most common questions from letters I’ve been delegated to answer on the big man’s behalf.   Thank you for printing my article, and keep your eyes open for my book hopefully coming out this year. Please keep the letters coming.

Vixon Claus

“ I figured you’d want to see it, Santa.”  The elf stood proudly rocking from his heels to his toes in a rhythm.  He puffed out his chest and let his teeth show with a broad smile below his cherry nose.

“Yes, yes, well done, Scripty, “ said Santa as he shook his head and let out a laugh.

“What should I do with it?”

“ Same as with that book of his.  Burn it,” said Santa shaking his head.  “That reindeer is quite the physicist, but no sense of the big picture.”

“ Yes sir,” said Scripty as he pulled back the letter.  “ Can I ask why?”  The elf cowered and tilted his head down but peered up at Santa.

“Well, you see, Scripty, it’s about hope.  The possibility of magic brings hope to those who might need a little magic in their lives.”  Santa threw his head back and closed his eyes in thought.

“ Oh yes, Santa, I get it now,” said Scripty as he once again puffed out his chest and smiled with his eyes and mouth.  He marched out of the workshop with a skip in his step.

“ Of course, that nice subsidy from the world toy makers foundation doesn’t hurt either, “ Santa whispered to himself and let out a guttural laugh.

December 17, 2022 01:20

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Wally Schmidt
22:23 Jan 07, 2023

This is really top-level snark and humor and I'm here for it. All the details you included make me think that you thought about this a lot before you began to write (which is a tad worrisome) and the effort paid off. Not sure why this story hasn't gotten more love, but that is just one of the great mysteries of the Reedsy platform.


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Helen A Smith
08:04 Dec 23, 2022

A very enjoyable story. Made me laugh about the book he hopes to get published. Good ending. Just make sure the kids don’t read it!!


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Sav Lightwood
05:32 Dec 23, 2022

Adore the concept and love the voice from Vixon - like Santa says, very focused on the physicalities and a little hopeless on the big picture. If there's anything I must add (or subtract, actually) it's about how having a lot of descriptive action between your talking characters might make the conversation slower and less punchy than you want it to be - so be sure to strike a balance with that! Furthermore, there are some minor errors which can be caught with some line editing or by reading your story aloud (e.g. "Here's the facts" "Einstein...


Willie Tee
19:06 Dec 23, 2022

Thank you for the suggestions. I thought the same way about the action with the dialogue. I actually cut it, but added it back in because my word count was too low. A better choice would have been expanding elsewhere.


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