Monday, January 02, 2012

The Naughty List Lasts Only a Year

For many years now we've had a New Year's tradition: We burn the Naughty List.

Everyone who was on the list for Christmas gets a new chance to start over in the new year.

It all started when the list was much smaller - the world had fewer people, and fewer people identified as Christians who observed Christmas. When cleaning up after Christmas each year I just tossed the Naughty List into my fire place.

The Nice lists, by the way, I always saved. I still have them all!

Over the years, though, the Naughty List got longer. And the work began to involved more than me - the elves came to keep up with the demand.

So we started a little ceremony of burning the list. Gradually it became part of our New Year's celebration, and the list would be tossed on the bonfire we built to mark the new year.

The lists got longer - alas - and the fire became bigger, as did the amount of smoke it produced. We became more conscious of the pollution we were causing. And then, when there were planes and satellites up in the air, we realized that the smoke might be spotted and the site of the North Pole Workshop discovered.

So we stopped burning them on the big fire. Instead, the list was spit up among all the homes and workshops for burning, and a representative list was burned as part of the New Year's celebration.

Now, of course, the list is all computerized: No burning needed. Just hit "Delete."

We have kept the burning tradition alive, though.

And so it was on New Year's Eve when the elves, Mrs. Claus, and I all gathered to mark the new year's arrival we had a nice fire in the main hall, and I tossed a representative Naughty List onto the fire.

So all you boys and girls have a fresh start. Get on the Nice List this year!


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