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Christmas Cheer

Santa Claus vs. the Marketers 81

Jonathan Cohen writes "Hi: Not sure if this is up your alley, but since Slashdot deals with privacy, copyright, and 'piracy' issues, I thought you might be interested...I'll quote my press release: It's Christmas Eve, and Santa Claus is grounded. After Claus Inc. hired a consulting firm in early November to re-brand Santa's image and revamp its business practices, the corporation has been on a downward spiral. The elf workforce has been downsized 70%, Santa's been given shoulder pads to make him look thinner, and even Rudolph's been eliminated for environmental reasons (nose radiation). This is just part of the free short story "Santa Claus vs. the Marketers," an adult fable about contemporary business issues."
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Santa Claus vs. the Marketers

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  • when it will be santa vs. the crakers/SKs? All you credit cards belong to us (thank you MS).
    • I am wrong, they are running apache on Mac OS: That explains why no story though.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Looks like Santa wouldn't know the difference between a hacker and a cracker...

      "But Rob was also a computer whiz, and would've become a hacker if Santa hadn't intervened
      when Rob was quite young." (Jonathan Cohen)
  • Origin of Santa (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I think that Father Christmas (as we call him in the UK) needs to be remodelled. He looks the way he does because a Coca-Cola ad campaign seriously caught on (hence the red and white).

    Personally, the marketing side of Christmas gets to me because the "true meaning" has been totally lost in the persuit of present buying.

    On the flip side the "true meaning" of Christmas is rather lost on me because I'm a heathen!

    Saint Nicholas should be green. He has no sleigh or reindeer, he doesn't live at the North Pole and he does not necessarily have to be fat.

    Still, what does it matter. I'm nothing but an anonymous coward!
    • Re:Origin of Santa (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nagora ( 177841 )
      He looks the way he does because a Coca-Cola ad campaign seriously caught on (hence the red and white)

      This is only half-true. Before the campaign Santa was depicted in several ways, green was popular but so was red and white. Coke picked up on the red and white one for obvious reasons but they didn't originate it.


      • Haha, it's still early in the morning for me but I can't resist being half troll/half serious:

        In Soviet Russia Santa is Blue!

        My wife's grandfather is Russian, so we've gone to visit him around the holidays a few times. Their "Santa" dresses much like ours, except that all of his clothes are dark royal blue. He is called Dedushka Moroz which means "Father Christmas." However, in most areas of Russia, it is traditionally Babushka Moroz (Grandmother Christmas) who leaves the presents for the children.
    • In watching the Christmas-related stuff on the History Channel, it would seem that it was those pesky heathens who started all this revelry in late December. The church tacked on the Feast of the Nativity later and then Christmas on top of that.

      My point is that being a heathen, you should know quite a bit about the true meaning of Christmas! :)
      • True, Original, or Current? The "heathen" celebrations in December would be the original meaning. The true meaning would refer to the christian celebration. And the current meaning can be found out in the stores.
    • The Santa by-way-of-Coke is an Urban Legend. []

      Claim: The modern image of Santa Claus -- a jolly figure in a red-and-white suit -- was created by Coca-Cola.

      Status: False

      (Excerpt)"This legend is not true. Although some versions of the Santa Claus figure still had him attired in various colors of outfits past the beginning of the 20th century, the jolly, ruddy, sack-carrying Santa with a red suit and flowing white whiskers had become the standard image of Santa Claus by the 1920s, several years before Sundlom drew his first Santa illustration for Coca-Cola"
    • Still, what does it matter. I'm nothing but an anonymous coward!

      And a moron, to boot. While we're at it, why not remodel Jesus? He looks that way because a medeival painter's idea of what Jesus looks like seriously caught on. Considering where/when he was born, he probably did not have long hair and a ghotee. He was probably fairly dark skinned. Probably had a fairly large nose, very pronounced forehead, fairly large, brown eyes. Oh. And since you're a heathen, let's remodel Mary, since you know she couldn't have been a virgin, right?

  • from the night-santa-went-crazy dept.
    Wierd Al references are fun!
  • by Phredd ( 15463 ) <frednix AT mac DOT com> on Wednesday December 25, 2002 @10:02AM (#4956644) Homepage Journal
    In this time of shopping malls, gift giving and presents, lets all take a few moments to remember the reason for the season; the birth of Santa.
  • by niranjan ( 575412 ) <niranjan.rajani@ma a i l m a . net> on Wednesday December 25, 2002 @10:03AM (#4956645) Homepage
    In another news Finland has demanded royalties, which may run into billions, because Santa comes from Finland.
    • They want money for Santa because thats where he came from?! Thats like saying that after Bill Gates' death, the USA might as well have to pay damages to all the countrys that used his software. Waaaait, maybe that's not such a bad idea.
      • Ahem.. Don't they always tell us that owning it doesn't make it our software?

        That said, there can only be so much software that is Bill Gates' software.

        FUD rules.

    • "In another news Finland has demanded royalties, which may run into billions, because Santa comes from Finland."

      Don'cha know the North Pole is in Canada? If there's any doubt, Santa gives his postal code every time he drives his sleigh:


      Merry XMAS!

        Santa Claus of Finland

        Santa Claus lives in Korvatunturi - "Ear Fell" - with Mrs. Santa and elves. It is his own secret home. He is wise and old. Did you know that Santa Claus speaks many languages. He wears a red coat, vest and linen shirt and warm boots.

        Korvatunturi is 483 metres high and in fact, there are two ears at the top. This way Santa Claus can hear all children around the world. Korvatunturi is located in the municipality of Savukoski, at the eastern border of the Finnish Lapland.

        Since the 1950s, Santa Claus has visited the Arctic Circle to meet children. There he established his own Santa Claus Office in 1985 where he comes every day of the year to meet children and adults and also to hear gift wishes.

        On this site you can read what Santa Claus wants to tell you about Lapland and the traditions of the Finnish Christmas. You can also find some other important things that Santa Claus wants to tell you.
      • Correct (Score:4, Funny)

        by Snork Asaurus ( 595692 ) on Wednesday December 25, 2002 @04:45PM (#4957811) Journal
        I don't know whether you (thought that you) made the part about the postal code up, but it is factually correct. Canada Post's automated mail sortation equipment recognizes the postal code H0H 0H0, which fits the Canadian postal code A(lpha) N(umeric) "ANA-NAN" format, as a valid code (albeit special for letters to Santa), and sorts accordingly. I was involved in a large IT project for them at the time that this was put into place (no, there was more to the project than that). For the life of me, I can't remember what they do with that mail although I do remember that they don't just dispose of it.


  • by craenor ( 623901 ) on Wednesday December 25, 2002 @10:19AM (#4956661) Homepage
    In a long time, I'm working Christmas day. I have what some would call the misfortune (although I like my job) of working Tech Support for Wireless Networking at the largest PC manufacturer.

    Yesterday and I'm sure today, I'm being overwhelmed with calls from boys/girls, moms/dads and grads who are setting up their new wireless networks for the first time.

    Don't forget the series of College students home for the holidays trying to get their portable with the wireless card setup for school to associate with mom and dads wireless network at home.

    I have to admit, that when I first walked in this morning, I was a bit bitter. I considered blaming my day here at work away from my family on every caller. Were it not for them, I wouldn't have to be here.

    But you know what? If I just got a wireless network for Christmas to go with my new computer, well, I would want the stupid thing to work too.

    So I'm happy to help. Maybe someone's day can be made better by the fact that I can get there new toys all working for them.

    To those people calling for older issues though...put down your computer. Watch some TV, relax with your family. Heck, go see a movie.

    My daughter asked my why I had to work today...I explained that Santa had a wireless network in his sleigh so he could get mapquest...I had to be at work in case he needed help with it.

    Merry Christmas!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I am a telecoms service engineer, same situation, taking the support calls from network providers that are overloaded by all the christmas phone calls.

      But still, a little sacrifice to make others happy.

      Merry Christmas
    • I sympathize, this is the first Christmas in the last five years that I don't have to work.
      All the best to you and yours.
    • Funny, where I work doing tech support, most people are scrambling TO work christmas, boxing day (a stat holiday in Canada) and New Years, because of the double-time-and-a-half.

      If I wanted to, I could have traded my shift away, and gotten cash for it, and still been payed for the holiday.

      But, doesn't bother me, I worked the graveyard shift, so now I'm relaxing at 11:00 am, drinking some wine, and celebrating. My family doesn't really celebrate Christmas until the 28th anyways (let's us get the last minute boxing day shopping in.. been that way since as long as I can remember - suprised more people don't celebrate this commercial holiday later.)

      Anyways, happy holidays to all!
      • My son is a fireman, my daughter a paramedic. Both volunteered to work today because "we don't have families, and our co-workers want to spend time with theirs". Brought a tear to my eye.

        Of course, I'm not stupid. They get paid time and a half for working holidays, and both need the money...
    • Ummm... I think there is a serious set of misplaced priorities here. The toys are not more important than Christmas. Nor are they more important than one's daughter. Here are some alternatives:

      (1) Post a notice on the side of the box: "Our employees enjoy Christmas too. We will be available for tech support on Dec. 26th, bright and early."

      (2) Be available for tech support for setup *before* Christmas, for those who have the foresight to test it. Make one optional box a decorated box that only needs a ribbon added. Necessary info is on the bottom.

      (3) Make something that really works out of the box.

      (4) Sell only working units.

      (5) Be more diverse: hire more Jews, Islamic, and Buddhist people. They'll be happy to work on Christmas day. But also have Christians who can work on the Jewish, Islamic (etc.) holy days.

      That's just a few. The overall message? Have a backbone. Be decent to your employees AND their families. Your employment practices do not exist in a vacuum; they help create the world you live in next year.

  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Wednesday December 25, 2002 @10:34AM (#4956685) Homepage Journal
    Reminds me of Politically Correct Holiday Stories by James Finn Garner.

    His first book, Politically Correct Fairy Tales was pretty cute, but by the time Holiday Stories came out the jokes had run their course. What with the climate of paranoia today, I've got a kick out of some of the political satire running locally.

    He knows when you are sleeping...
    He knows when you're awake...
    He knows if you've been bad or good...

    No, not Santa Claus, John Poindexter, so you better watch out!

  • Just in case the main site gets slashdotted .... the story can be gotten here as well: F []
  • Very nice story. I especially like this line which associates to modern copyright issues etc.

    "I don't know if information wants to be free or not," they heard santa call out from the sleigh, "but I know Christmas presents gifts certainly do."
  • I hear Santa's trying to reinvent his image [] for the 21st century.
  • Didn't I see this movie? It starred Pia Zadora as a kid...

    whisper whisper

    Oh. That was Santa Claus conquers the MARTIANS.

    That's very different. Never mind.
  • Biblical scholars and archaeologists have positively established the date of Jesus' birth. It was February 29!!! I guess Christmas will have to be once every four years from now on.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'll tell you what I want for xmas, I want to be able to turn off the "AD SLASHDOT" Category. The one that keeps posting these useless ADVERTISEMENTS disguised as stories.

  • That title reminds me of the old movie "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" [], which, surprisingly enough, is aparantly being remade! []

    This is the movie from whence the line "Droppo, you're the laziest man on mars!" sprang forth into the world. It's a very entertainingly bad movie, and was featured in Mystery science theater 3000 episode 321. []

    Ryan Fenton
  • The elf workforce has been downsized 70%

    I was under the impression that the Eldar left for the undying lands long before. Or did they leave because they were downsized?

  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Wednesday December 25, 2002 @02:23PM (#4957387) Homepage Journal
    Kids, Santa Clause is real, and will always be able to deliver presents. He is just that good. This story was posted by a bad person who hates Santa Clause and wants to end Christmas. Do not believe it. Open your presents and enjoy your day. Remember, Santa loves you.

    Thank You. S. Clause

  • In the beginning there was only one kind of Mathematician, created by
    the Great Mathamatical Spirit form the Book: the Topologist. And they grew to
    large numbers and prospered.
    One day they looked up in the heavens and desired to reach up as far
    as the eye could see. So they set out in building a Mathematical edifice that
    was to reach up as far as "up" went. Further and further up they went ...
    until one night the edifice collapsed under the weight of paradox.
    The following morning saw only rubble where there once was a huge
    structure reaching to the heavens. One by one, the Mathematicians climbed
    out from under the rubble. It was a miracle that nobody was killed; but when
    they began to speak to one another, SUPRISE of all suprises! they could not
    understand each other. They all spoke different languages. They all fought
    amongst themselves and each went about their own way. To this day the
    Topologists remain the original Mathematicians.
    -- The Story of Babel

    - this post brought to you by the Automated Last Post Generator...

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson