I Pissed Off Santa

When Christmas Day rolls around, many folks out there look forward to opening presents and hope the contents are just what they asked for, like keys to a new car, or a life-time supply of Rogaine. Not this guy. Nope, your humble narrator’s favorite part is the opening of stockings, mainly because I have no idea what to expect. Whether it be candy, gum, flashlights or weird wind-up flying gizmos, I am always thrilled to see what Old Saint Nick decided to slip into my stocking.

This year, however, things didn’t turn out as I expected. After I dumped the sparse contents of my stocking across the coffee table, the room went deathly silent. I stared in disbelief at what was laid in front of me: one dried dog turd, two pieces of coal, and an unwrapped half-eaten Tootsie Roll coated with cat hair.

What did I do to deserve this? I thought I was pretty good this year. Well, mostly. And then it hit me.  Santa has an intelligence network that puts the CIA, KGB, and Mossad to shame, and I know he is tight with Ullr. It was then that I realized that the Norse god of skiing had told Santa all about my failures as a skier, which the fat man in the red suit used against me. Here is what I reckon I did to piss off Santa:

First, I know I was way behind in getting our sticks into the shop to get ready for the season. The mountains were already open when I finally got my poop in a group, but in my defense, I was very busy “burning stuff” on my days off. I’m also certain the condition of our skis added to Santa’s ire when he found out. Rather than cleaning them up and applying a coat of summer wax at the end of last season, I just threw them into storage. And let me tell ya, rusted edges and bone-dry bases do not sit well with the guy who keeps a naughty and nice list.

It also probably didn’t help that I had bought new boots for both myself and my better half over a year ago but put forth zero effort to get them dialed in over the course of last season. Instead of getting a boot-fitting appointment for both of us this fall, I blew it off and thought we would just suck it up this year. Alas, my mantra of “Pain is just weakness leaving the body” is not shared by Santa, and he knows all too well the consequences of ill-fitting ski boots on the feet of one’s significant other.

I think what the broke the camel’s back, however, was my negative winter weather predictions. Sure, the scientists have been yammering on and on about the lack of snowfall here in the PNW thanks to El Niño, but I should have tried to spin it in a more positive light. Rather than doing that, I reinforced the scientific position by saying stupid things like “Well, we had three years of good snow, so I guess our luck has run out,” or “I prefer groomed runs anyway,” or “My legs get tired from powder skiing.” I’m sure Santa mentally classified these statements as Dumb, Dumb and Dumber as he sprinkled cat hair on that Tootsie Roll.

I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions, but for this coming year, I’m taking the glass-is-half-full approach to whatever the forecast is, and I will be dropping off skis and my better half at the shop the day after the 4th of July.

Brad Northrup is a former ski racer, coach, and ski industry professional. He has been on Santa’s naughty list since the late 1980s.

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