PRUDENTIAL BUILDING— Like any other respectable student, this holiday season I asked Santa for a passing GPA and for Comm Ave. to be freed from the shackles of extra large rats. To accomplish such a task, I ventured all the way across town to the Prudential Center, where I found The Big Man Himself slumped over in his elaborate, cardboard throne.

I approached him gingerly, as he appeared to be a bit exhausted from dealing with the masses and certifying that every single wish made it to the North Pole safely. I lifted a finger and tapped his shoulder, careful to not let his silvery beard distract me from my mission. 

“What the f-” he exclaimed, excitedly no doubt, as I took the liberty of positioning myself on his lap. I wrapped my arms around his girthy neck and leaned my head against his chest. I was about to begin to voice my desires when I inhaled the most unpleasant aroma I’d experienced since I got off the T. My nose filled with hints of nuttiness, charred wood, and… bananas? I thought Santa drank hot cocoa, not Jack Daniels?

I quickly scrambled off his thighs and looked around, just now noticing the circle of chairs surrounding his with neatly folded pamphlets on each of the seats. Oh God, I’m in the middle of a one-man Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. 

Filled with disappointment and tremendous empathy, I instructed Santa to stand up with me. Taking his seat on the throne, I pulled him back onto my lap, rubbed his engorged beer belly, and kissed his bright red forehead as he began to lightly sob.

“I’m so goddamn stressed about work, I work EVERY DAY, and I came home yesterday to find the Mrs. in bed with Jack Frost. What am I going to tell the elves? Mommy and daddy are sleeping in different rooms because daddy snores too loud? I’m just exhausted.”

Utterly taken aback, I took his meaty hands in mine and told him I had one more wish for Christmas this year. He lovingly gazed up at me as I wished for the best divorce lawyer in the world, one that would ensure equitable division of the assets and an airtight restraining order. He threw his arms around me and thanked me for my generosity. 

I made my way home that night, inhaling the pungent scent of Captain Jack from my shirt, and promising my mom that it wasn’t me, it was Santa! I got my ass kicked and sent to my room, but I knew in my heart Santa was up there kicking his wife’s ass in court. 

My time with Santa showed me that the true meaning of Christmas isn’t about presents or parties, but the prenups we make along the way.

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