Guest Post by Billy Barty
It was in November of 2021 that Santa’s sweatshop ground to a halt. The Allomother Turkey had just been sacrificed to appease the Pagan Forest Gods in the rite of Thanksgiving. As mash potato dishes were slicked up and cranberry sauce was banished back to the pantry, the Christmas season officially began. Present orders shot through the roof and Santa, that Red Baron of the North, cracked his whip with increased fervor. The pressure broke the few elves that remained and for the first time in over 2000 years, production ceased. Christmas was canceled.
How did this happen? To answer this question, we must go back to 1993 when the Clinton administration passed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. For a long time, Santa had kept the sexual orientation of his elves out of people’s minds. But the American mandate raised the issue to the forefront of public discourse and Santa was forced to acknowledge that any community as happy and colorful as Christmas Town had to be full of gays.
With this public revelation, Santa attempted to save face by instituting his own version of the policy, the Stuffing Stockings Silence Standard. But this half-measure failed to stop the impending layoff. Most of the LGBTQ+ elves had been open about their sexuality for the past several hundred years and couldn’t hide it now. As a result, nearly 75% of Santa’s elves were laid off and forcibly exported from the North Pole.
Elves are by nature submissive and hardworking. This is why they were content to let Santa exploit them for as long as they did. But after the snow had settled, the greatly diminished elf workforce was forced to quadruple their efforts in order to keep up with the ever-growing number of children in the world.
Additionally, a number of changes were made to Santa’s workshop and Christmas Town such as inbreeding reindeer to produce more red-nosed reindeer to cut lighting costs, kidnapping Heat Miser and forcing him to provide indoor heating and abolishing the Naughty List to save coal as a valuable energy resource. Dissent spread throughout the remaining workforce. Fortunately for their blood-red tyrant, elves are long lived creatures and are slow to act. Instead, their outrage bubbled up slowly like cocoa left on a hot stove.
The crisis first erupted in 2020 with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. As remote as the North Pole was, the disease was carried on material shipments to the sweatshop and spread quickly among the crowded workers. Many of the workers were afflicted with bowels of holly. Protest erupted among the sick and Santa was forced to promise a laundry list of improvements to the elves’ workplace and healthcare. These steps placated most of the elves and the facility limped through another year.
This fall, however, tensions between Santa and his slaves had once again reached a breaking point. The elves had started calling the big, red jolly guy, Panty Claus. Santa had yet to fulfill the majority of his promises from the previous year and conditions were continuing to worsen as the world opened back up. Finally, on November 27, 2021, the elves stormed Santa’s castle, overwhelmed his Nutcracker army, and beheaded the old Kringle King. In the following turmoil, the elves elected Santa’s grandson, Lil’ Nickie, to become the new King in the North and formed the elven Yuletide Union.
Although a millennium of abuse and exploitation was brought to an end, the conflict left Christmas Town in shambles and the new Santa in an impossible situation. Lil’ Nickie needed to completely overhaul the workshop and the surrounding village, implement an exhaustive number of changes to appease the Yuletide Union, and still have enough presents made in time for Christmas.
After pondering his predicament for several days, the new Santa realized the only way Christmas could be saved was to bring back all of the banished gay elves. This was easier said than done. Two decades had passed since their expulsion and the elves had found other ways of life such as baking cookies or designing clothes for the fashion industry. A few desperate elves had even entered into pornography.
It was unsurprising, then, that Lil’ Nickie’s first round of invitations to return to the North Pole were mostly rejected. Many of the elves were distrustful of the new monarch and doubted the authenticity of his new policies. The King in the North needed to find a way to demonstrate his commitment to the elves and their young union and convince the outcast elves to return home. But how could he accomplish this daunting task?
The answer was surprisingly simple: funny gay Christmas T-shirts. Over the next few days, a flurry of T-shirts was produced. Green shirts saying “Don We Now Our Gay Apparel” were distributed among the denizens of the North Pole. Colorful shirts saying “Ho Ho Homo for Christmas” were flown across the world to the homes of the expunged elves. Lil’ Nickie even broadcast a video of himself in a “Make the Yuletide Gay” shirt. “Shirts showcase us to those around us.” The new Santa said in the video, “I think it’s about time we show that Christmas is for everyone and have some fun at the same time. Santa stands with the LGBTQ+ community!”
These actions, small though they may seem, demonstrated to all the elves on the fence about returning that this new Santa was different from the tyrant they were so familiar with. After all, the old Santa would never have publicly donned such a shirt. In the following week, elves returned to the North Pole en masse and threw themselves into their work. Yuletide cheer returned to Christmas Town and soon everything was back on schedule. And that’s how funny t-shirts saved Christmas.