Psychiatrist: So, what seems to be the problem?
Santa: I’m not sure doc. That’s what I’m paying you to find out.
Psychiatrist: I’m aware of that. I’m also a bit nervous about what’ll happen if people find out you’re seeing a psychiatrist.
Santa: Sigh, I wouldn’t worry about it. No one would believe you anyway.
Psychiatrist: No one would believe me?
Santa: You have no idea what it’s like when a huge portion of the population doesn’t think you’re real. It gets to you, you know? Like sometimes I look in the mirror, and all I see is an illusion.
Psychiatrist: Sounds like an identity crisis.
Santa: Probably. You know I’ve wanted to shave my beard for the past hundred years?
Psychiatrist: I did not know that.
Santa: Well I was this close to doing it, but then I realized I’m nothing without my beard. I’m controlled by my own facial hair. Cookies keep getting stuck in it.
Psychiatrist: You’re worried about your weight, aren’t you?
Santa: Do you have any idea how many cookies I eat on Christmas? All those kids and their plates full of cookies.
Psychiatrist: You could just not eat the cookies.
Santa: Then the kids get depressed. No. Morbid obesity is the price I have to pay to keep children happy. Ungrateful little twerps.
Santa: Then there’s the elves. They’re thinking of unionizing.
Santa: Yeah. Turns out they think that the whole “working purely for the joy of Christmas” doesn’t help pay the bills. I’m not entirely sure what bills they have to pay since they live in my castle, and I pay for everything. Some of them are getting weird ideas. I don’t watch them that closely since I’m, you know, watching everyone else in the world. There was this one elf named Stumpy, and he was the head of their union. I’m not sure what happened to him, but I heard some of the other elves murmur something about how he’s visiting Jimmy Hoffa. It’s not a big deal. Mrs. Claus will just make them cookies laced with a heavier dose of our subservient serum. Little punks must be building up an immunity.
Psychiatrist: Don’t you think they should be free to make their own choices instead of drugging them?
Santa: Not really. I let one elf make his own choices as an experiment, and that ended badly.
Psychiatrist: How so?
Santa: He somehow snagged a copy of Lord of the Rings and got it into his head that he could be Legolas. Next thing I know the slippery hellion is running around the North Pole with a bow and arrow practicing on harp seals. It got really out of hand last week when he was skulking about practicing on my reindeer.
Psychiatrist: That’s not good.
Santa: He put Dancer in the infirmary. And this was after Donner and his group went missing on some hiking trip. Figures. The reindeer actually like working for me, too, so that was more damage control. But don’t get me started on Rudolph.
Psychiatrist: You don’t have to talk about him if you don’t want to.
Santa: I was hard on him when he was younger. I even told him his nose made him ugly. But then I needed him that one night, and he was so happy. After a couple of years, it really went to his head, and he was strutting around like he owned the place. To shut him up, I installed LED lights on my sleigh, and I told Rudolph I didn’t need him anymore.
Psychiatrist: Passive-aggressive can be dangerous. And you feel guilty for that?
Santa: He’s been moping around with his nose flashing like a malfunctioning traffic light. I told him he could be a backup reindeer if one of the others got sick or something. That didn’t work. That night he might have gotten drunk. It’s hard to tell with him since his nose is red already. And he’s always had a lot of screws loose, so that didn’t help. You know he thought that airplanes were mutated pigeons. Anyway, yesterday he flew into a dumpster. I saw the whole thing, and he wouldn’t get out no matter how hard we tried.
Psychiatrist: What did you end up doing?
Santa: I suggested he could be a dentist like his friend Hermie, but he said something about not having opposable thumbs. I wasn’t really paying attention because we were behind on our Lego production that day. I suggested he play with the other reindeer. They were even asking him to play, but he wouldn’t. Figures. That moron is never happy.
But it’s really hard to concentrate on that when I spend all day seeing if people are good or bad.
Psychiatrist: Takes a toll, doesn’t it?
Santa: It does. Plus, it’s easy to get distracted. Everyone’s bad, and making the stupid list takes forever. Do you realize how long it takes to make an 8 billion people list? Then there’s everyone dying and being born, I spend most of my day crossing names out and writing new ones in. I’m telling you, I’m going to snap. Going to every house in the world is tedious. You know what that’s like?
Santa: Me either. I skip most of them anyway. So many parents do the work for me, there’s no point. Of course, it’s hard to go down chimneys when people don’t have them. God, I hate chimneys.
I think things are going south with Mrs. Claus too. I keep hearing her talk in her sleep about Jack Frost.
Psychiatrist: I think we should deal with that in another session.
Santa: Whatever you say doc. I should mention that more than a few kids caught their moms kissing me. That’s been rough for the wife, and it didn’t help that there’s a song about it now.
Psychiatrist: My lips are sealed.
Santa: Great. Merry Christmas!