There has to be an exception. Somewhere buried deep in the laws of the United States, there has to be a legal exception for Santa Claus. I know there’s got to be one. I just don’t know where to find it.
How do I know this? Because without a big legal exception, Santa would be in a heap of trouble.
What kind of trouble? Every kind. Just think about it for a minute. Santa runs one of the biggest industrial, travel and shipping operations in the world.
When we talk about travel destinations, we might think of Maui or Cancun. But what about a travel agency that books a destination to every single house on the face of the planet? And all in a single night? The logistics are mind boggling. How Santa did all this before the age of the internet is unthinkable. But there it is – he visits every house, every where, and delivers just about every thing under the sun.
And where does he get it all? He MAKES it. That’s one big industrial operation.
So what kind of trouble could Santa be in? Well, there’s plenty of paint and plastics in the things he makes. That means there’s plenty of hydrocarbons involved in his manufacturing processes, and there’s going to be industrial waste. He better not just stuff it under the nearest iceberg – because he might violate international laws and treaties about ocean pollution.
He better be careful where he sets up shop – he wouldn’t want to disturb the natural habitat of the polar bears up at the North Pole. They are an endangered species – so any interference with their lifestyle or habitat could be a problem.
He better watch out for air pollution too, because with all of that manufacturing going on, there’s sure to be smoke from all kinds of different things.
And what kind of labor force would he have to use? Just planning the travel and delivery logistics would take an army of elves. Getting the right present into the sack in the right order? No small thing. If the gift you want is at the bottom of the sack – well, you see the problem. It’s all got to be stacked in there just so. Besides all the logistical work, there’s all of the manufacturing and other activities. Santa even has to deal with organized labor issues. First there’s the general purpose labor union, the Brotherhood of Northern International Christmas Elves (BNICE). But Santa also has to deal with specialty unions, such as the elves that grow all those oranges that go into the toe of all the Christmas stockings. Their union is known as the Elves Garden Group of Northern Orange Growers (EGGNOG). Santa has to deal with other specialty unions, such as elves who make all the Christmas candy and also supply the North Pole with ice cream, which is the Cooperative Organization Of Kandy and Ice cream Elves (COOKIE). There are other specialty labor unions, such as union that only installs locks on dollhouses, hinges on jewelry boxes and similar hardware (Santa’s Little Elves who Install General Hardware, or SLEIGH). Elves can get a bit territorial – so even the smallest, least frequent tasks can require a union with a long name, such as the Generally Organized Officers and Dutiful Christmas Holiday Elves who Energize Rudolph (GOODCHEER). Kind of hard to imagine that periodically changing the batteries in Rudolph’s nose requires a whole separate union — but it does.
And all of this doesn’t even get things “off the ground.” Once everything has been made, Santa has to personally deliver it. I wonder if Santa has received appropriate licensing from the FAA to operate an aircraft in U.S. airspace? I don’t know- maybe a “miniature sleigh with eight tiny reindeer” doesn’t qualify as an aircraft. Really, who in their right mind would consider a sleigh to be an aircraft? Maybe Santa gets to “slide” by on this one.
But “laying aside” this issue, Santa still has to deal with all of the laws about getting the gifts into each house. Landing a sleigh on a rooftop without permission? Could be a trespass. But I’ve seen stop signs at homes that say “Santa! Stop Here! The Children inside have been good this year!” Maybe that kind of sign is an invitation – and then Santa would be a welcome guest. When somebody is invited onto a property, there’s no trespass. But going down the chimney? Could be breaking and entering – another legal problem. But the cookies and milk waiting for him might be an invitation to come inside – and there’s no breaking or entering when someone is invited to come in.
Santa’s legal problems are almost enough to make your head swim. Good thing he’s got the world’s best legal team up at the North Pole. Their address? Holley, Jolley, Mistle and Toe, LLP, North Pole. And when it’s all done? On December 26, Santa is always Ho Ho Hammered.