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Attention every business and restaurant in America: Please stop with the superfluous Santa visits.

Just. Stop.

This time of year, you can’t go get waxed without an unsolicited appearance by the big man. In the past two weeks I’ve either personally encountered or seen Himself advertised as visiting Home Depot, the tree farm, Speaker John Boehner’s office, three local restaurants and a civic pancake breakfast. Santa’s one Meet the Press sitdown away from the Full Ginsburg.

It used to be, you’d head to the mall and with hushed reverence wait in a seemingly interminable line snaking past Orange Julius and Claire’s for your one annual one-on-one with him. One, being the operative number. ONE. Now you’re awkwardly dodging him in the grocery store aisle like that weirdo from accounting whose LinkedIn request you’ve been ignoring. And most of these “Santas” are in suits and beards that are a little more janky than jolly.

Here’s the thing… [SPOILER ALERT] Now that I’m a parent, I’m Santa.

As in, the real Santa Claus is me and I am him. As such, I have a pretty tight secrecy game to maintain. So it’s not helping when I have to answer the question, “Is that the real Santa?,” accompanied by a tiny raised eyebrow, every time we run an errand in the month of December. She’s only four, but she’s already got a hair-trigger holiday bullshit detector.

Don’t even get me started on Santa Stumbles. All of you drunken buffoons running through downtown in red thongs and Santa beards in the middle of a Saturday can go sod off.

So let’s give it a rest, shall we? I shouldn’t have to pull out the chipper spiel about “Santa’s helpers” unless I’m teaching her how to politely ignore Salvation Army bell ringers.

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