Christmas is a wonderful time of year full of holiday cheer, giving and general togetherness. Children are excited about the prospect of Santa Claus flying into town to deliver presents to all the good little boys and girls, but, in reality, parents should be blocking the chimney and barring the doors so the old man in the red suit can’t get anywhere near their children.
You read that right, forget standing in line to take a picture with Santa, instead you should be calling the authorities whenever you catch a glimpse of Santa’s jolly white beard, because Santa is a straight up criminal.
Every year Santa commits plenty of crimes that go unpunished around the world and it’s time that we put away the milk and cookies and take a closer look at who Santa Claus really is.
Here are six crimes that Santa commits every year:
1. Trespassing, Breaking and Entering:
Let’s start with the most obvious crimes: trespassing and breaking and entering. Each Christmas Santa visits every child’s house around the world without announcing himself or asking permission to enter and slips in through the chimney. People are allowed to go onto another person’s private property during daylight hours if permission has been granted, but Santa does his dirty work at night and makes sure to do so when everyone is asleep.
The Criminal Code of Canada makes it an offense to loiter or prowl at night on property belonging to another person and/or near a dwelling situated on that property. Santa might want to trade in that red coat for a black jumpsuit and a ski mask, because trespassing fines can set him back around $10,000 in Ontario and breaking and entering charges can lead up to 10 years in prison.
2. Flying Through Restricted Airspace:
Santa’s reindeer had better know some evasive dogfighting maneuvers, because Santa is bound to fly through some heavily restricted airspace throughout his Christmas eve flight path. Now, if Santa adheres to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) directions he would probably leave with a small fine after being detained and interviewed, but does he really have time for an interrogation?
Typically a pilot would have their license suspended, but Santa might find himself in more trouble if he does not have a government issued ID. Worse case scenario, the governments of the world would see Santa’s sleigh as an immediate threat and they would take to the sky to take Santa down in a blaze of glory and heat-seeking air-to-air missiles.
Santa would also be in trouble for travelling far too fast. In the United States of America it is illegal to fly faster than the speed of sound unless it is an emergency situation. Now, it has been calculated that Santa would need to travel 5,083,000 mph to deliver all of his presents in a 24 hour period, a speed which far exceeds the speed of sound (768 mph). In Santa’s case I don’t think the government would agree that delivering presents classifies as an emergency situation.
3. Impaired Driving:
Unless there are some parents out there that like to slip a little something extra into Santa’s milk, or he is trying to stay warm by swigging on a flask of his favourite brandy, Santa probably is not consuming alcohol during his Christmas eve toil, but that does not mean he isn’t driving impaired.
After working all year to make all of those presents, Santa has to visit every household in one night and that means he is going to get tired. Really tired. In fact someone who has not slept in 18 hours is as impaired as another person who has a 50 mg% blood alcohol level. In most Canadian provinces, somebody with a 50 mg% blood alcohol level can lose their licence for 24 hours.
According to the Canada Safety Council, driving tired can be comparable to driving drunk. Twenty percent of Canadians have admitted to falling asleep at the wheel, and fatigue has been a factor in about 15 percent of motor vehicle accidents. Santa should probably get some help delivering all those presents or else he is putting a lot of people in danger by driving (flying?) impaired.
4. Immigration and Importation Violations:
Santa Claus supposedly lives in the North Pole, but at this point I’m not so sure we can believe anything he tells us, which means he has to cross several borders to reach all of the households in the world. When traveling around the world there is never any mention of Santa stopping at the borders to go through immigration, get his passport stamped or declare any of the various gifts that he is importing.
If you’ve ever tried going through the US-Canadian border, you know that it is a pain. Santa breaks laws all the time which means that it would be very difficult for him to legally cross any border without being detained, arrested, or removed from the country.
On the importation side, Santa would be wasting crucial hours going through all of the toys that he has to deliver to children around the world. Not to mention, to comply with importing regulations, he’d have to create a comprehensive manifest of the products he’s carrying. Border patrol would certainly want to rummage through his sack to make sure no contraband or undeclared items were entering the country. Even if there was some way that Santa could avoid getting arrested at the various international borders he crosses, he would be held up long enough with customs agents that he would not get his job done in one night.
5. Tax Evasion, Money Laundering:
If Santa Claus is a citizen of any country he is in a lot of trouble. Every year Santa and his elves build toys for children around the world, but where do the supplies come from? Where does the power for his factory come from? Santa has to be buying materials from somewhere, which means that he has to be making money somehow.
If Santa has a salary then he more than likely has been avoiding taxes for quite some time, unless he found some loopholes. According to Forbes, it would cost Santa $142,546,000,000 in fair market value for gifts. In Canada, ignoring the tax law can cost you 200 percent of the amount you were trying to avoid, or several years in prison. You do the math.
6. Breaking Labor Laws:
As an employer you have to follow a strict set of employment and labor regulations. There is no way of officially knowing what it’s like working in Santa’s sweatshop … er, I mean workshop, but with millions and millions of toys that need to be made every year there is a good chance that Santa is not following regulations. In Canada there are maximum daily and weekly limits of hours a person can work (8 and 48 hours) and by law employers are required to give employees 11 consecutive hours of break after each work day.
Not to mention, Santa is required to pay his employers fair compensation and give them the proper amount of holiday time. The only Elf that I’ve seen get time off is Will Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf—and he more ran away then took a scheduled vacation. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 insured that employers who break labor laws are punished accordingly. Employers who break labor laws are subject to suffer jail time spanning several years, or large fines that could be detrimental to their companies. If Santa is ever caught for being unfair to his elves/employees he could be in some serious trouble.
Crimes and jokes aside, Santa is a figure who brings joy to the world every Christmas and would probably be forgiven for many of the laws that he breaks every year. For example, unless Santa stole something or seriously overstepped his boundaries, he would probably not be arrested for breaking and entering, because families are usually tacitly inviting him into their homes with milk and cookies. Also, governments probably give special treatment to Santa entering restricted airspace, as his movements are tracked by NORAD on Christmas Eve and broadcast to the world. Santa might not follow all of the rules, but he does so to bring happiness to people around the globe.
Happy holidays everyone, from your friends at HostPapa!