Imagine the Imagined

Did you ever write a letter to Santa asking for a specific toy? To Wonder Woman asking if she’d come visit your school?

Now, I want you to place yourself in the shoes of the elf that has to sort through all those letters to Santa, the one who actually responds to every letter, never receiving any credit. Imagine you are an adult trying to convince Wonder Woman to end things with Superman because, as a lifelong fan, you believe he belongs with Lois Lane!

Several writers have returned to the epistolary form, writing letters to the figures they met during their childhood. The results of these letters are oftentimes humorous but also reveal moments of disappointment, concern, and unanswered questions that the narrator has carried with them into adulthood.

Read: An Open Letter to Santa Claus Regarding His Travel Plans by Sila Puhl

Notice how the narrator addresses Santa at the beginning. We are no longer witnessing the age of “Dear Santa,” suggesting an amount of informality. Instead, the narrator is on familiar enough terms to go without the formal greeting, “Dear Mr. Claus.”

Then, halfway through, the narrator reminds Jolly St. Nick that he’s at risk too.

Mr. Claus, this is about your risk level, too. The virus affects the elderly most severely and you are 1,749 years old. Your diet consists mainly of baked goods. I don’t even want to think about how low your Vitamin D levels are by December, what with the lack of sunlight in the North Pole. And handling all that coal cannot be good for your lungs. Frankly, your odds don’t look great.

Humor aside, Puhl introduces several valid and recognizable points. Remember our previous prompt, taking the imaginary and bringing them into reality? Puhl points out several character flaws within Santa Claus that would not equate to the healthiest lifestyle, especially during a pandemic, and brings them to the forefront in their argument as to why Santa can pass their house this year.

In fact, Puhl takes this a step further, critiquing Santa’s workspace. How we just sing about Rudolph’s red nose but never question the medical implications that have led his nose to be this particular hue. The elves, who are probably overworked, are also in close proximity to one another which is not conducive during a pandemic. In combining the problems of reality, the conflicts that are taking place during present day, Puhl is adding tension to this letter.

To keep you accountable, the Grinch has agreed to monitor your activity in the North Pole. He has been socially distancing on top of Mount Crumpit since long before the start of the pandemic and will stay a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole length away from others at all times.