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I have always advocated for Santa Claus.

I have never been one of those parents that crushed the fantastic life out of the fat man with the red and white suit and the accompanying fiction. That is beside the point, I know many parents that either flat-out objected to the notion of Santa Claus or simply didn’t like the idea of an overweight white man giving their kids free toys. I get it.

The legend of Mr. Claus was never a meaningless, overtly capitalistic, Euro-centric tradition back in the day. Not for me, at least. My Santa Claus was always Black and he was never late delivering toys to kids all over the world. And he gave according to the times. Back in the day, he gave sparingly, creatively and his generosity coincided with my parents’ bank account.

This dude – this Santa – he flipped the script on me.

At first, he was my partner-in-crime. He helped me give my daughter some of the biggest, brightest and most exciting moments of her life. There is nothing like the joy on a young child’s face as he or she come down those steps and believes that a man they never met managed to go across the whole Earth within mere hours giving away free toys.

In my case, Santa became complicit in a hustle against the very person that empowered him – me. It all started with my daughter shouting, “I love Santa!” a couple years ago. Santa gave her an iPad mini for Christmas that year. It was at this pivotal point that I realized Santa was a traitor. He was more beloved than I was at that moment.

A couple weeks ago, my daughter came at me straight up sideways with a simple question. “What is my budget?” There was no mention of Santa at all. Just the budget. So she got her budget and I realized that Santa was no longer my competition. I thought wrong. He is now my nemesis for a different reason. My daughter knows the budget, but then began to talk fondly about jolly ol’ St. Nick days before Christmas, a play at more toys, no doubt.

I know that Santa’s time has come to an end, but the game continues.

When I was a young, fairly smart kid, I continued to theorize concept of Santa Claus way after the math didn’t make sense. These kids are far more advanced than we ever were and the world makes them into adults faster than ever. That leaves less and less space in the young mind for a fat man and his cadre of elves and deer. This dude is not giving young kids Jordans and expensive products like iPads.

They already know where that comes from – (Michael) Jordan and (Steve) Jobs.

I tried to boycott Christmas to stand in solidarity with international protests, but capitalism won. Black Santa only lives in the same way Elvis lives in the hearts of rednecks Down South. He’ll rest in peace even if he’s now only an accomplice in the “Christmas Hustle.”

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