You better watch out. You better not cry. Better not pout, I’m tellin’ you why. Santa Claus is comin’ to town… after he gets out of boot camp.
Frohe Weihnachten, vielleicht (Merry Christmas, maybe)
From Germany’s The Local, reporter Kerstin von Glowacki tells us how the fun and frolic of holiday jolliness is serious business. That is to say, you’re gonna have to prove your worth before donning the coveted threads of Der Weihnachtsmann (Santa).
Following a Christmas tradition dating back to 1949, student job agency Heinzelmännchen (“Elves”) provides Santa training, insuring only the best Kris Kringles for private parties, schools, and office events. This year’s Oberweihnachtsmann (Superior Santa), Stefan Zwingel, is the leader of this pack of would-be Saint Nicks, and he isn’t afraid to banish bad elves. “Last year we had to kick 20 people out, and being drunk isn’t even the biggest problem,” says Zwingel.
Santa-don’t’s include drinking, smoking, eating, swearing, or toilet-using. You read that right. When these Santa-grads pay a family a visit, they’d better have already taken care of, you know, business. Santa-do’s include white gloves, a shiny bell, a traditional book of song, and knowing all about the naughty and nice (provided to him by parents).
Those with “boozy breath and an unhealthy interest in children” need not apply.
Jolly Old England Trims the Jolly Old Elf
If you’re looking for a non-traditional (which is to say thin and fit) Santa, look no further than England. Concerned over the potential 721,000 pounds Santa could theoretically gain from eating all the treats left for him, a Greenhithe, Kent shopping center is sending their jolly lot to Santa Boot Camp, complete with personal trainers and a whole lot more carrots than cakes. Shopping Center spokesperson Fiona Campbell-Reilly says, “He will still be the same lovable jolly man, but will be fitter and healthier.”
Whatever. To quote Mrs. Claus, “Who ever heard of a skinny Santa?” We’re taking our business to Germany, thanks anyway.
Finally, my best attempt to locate the creator of this much-touted “Santa Boot Camp” video has been for naught. If you know where it originated, let me know (in the comments) so credit can be given where credit is merrily due.