Christmas has passed and, once again, a major question remains unanswered ...
Apparently, Santa knows who's been naughty and who's been nice - but how does he know this?
Is there a troop of elves out there following families, making notes about children's behaviour, taking photographs and spying on neighbourhoods?
Does the man in the red suit hire private investigators? Is this yet another contract passed to Thompson & Clark along with eavesdropping on owners of quake-damaged homes in Christchurch and spying on those with opinions different to the National Party?
If so, how did Santa pay them? With gift vouchers, a stocking full of cheap plonk or a selection of cheeses? I digress from the original question: How does Santa find out who has been naughty and who has, in fact, been nice - and is there some critical balance of naughtiness to niceness that determines whether or not a kid gets toys at Christmas?
Most kids are about 50 per cent naughty and 50 per cent nice over a year so, on balance, the one cancels out the other.
If Santa is actually keeping a tally (using metadata and powerful computers this is possible) then how is the critical information collected?
So many questions and Santa has never fronted up to the media to answer any of them. I believe we have a right to know how, in this instance, Santa is accessing such personal data on children?
The next important question is - having been deemed to have been naughty, is there a way to appeal the decision?
If thousands of children all over New Zealand have been designated naughty with no evidence provided, then surely there is a strong case for a class action against Santa & Co Inc.
This leads to some complex legal questions such as what constitutes naughty. Is that when the older sibling tells the younger sibling that Santa is a mythical figure or is it when a child drops the jam and blames it on the cat?
And what is the legal definition of nice? Is that when a child says "Thank you" after unwrapping a parcel that contains a pair of socks? Is nice when they tidy their room without being asked?
If a child wishes to contest the Santa finding, do they have to go to the South Pole and plead their case in front of a jury of gnomes (NB: Elves and gnomes do not get on - the animosity was provoked after zero hour contracts were brought into the workshop and the United Front of Small Working Persons splintered into the Workers Union of Small Stature (or WUSS) and the Popular Front for Equality for Elves (PFEE). The core disagreements centred around what constituted small in terms of membership and a contentious sub-clause that stated gnomes over six feet tall could not have voting rights).
But I digress yet again - it must be the time of year affecting my ability to concentrate.
It is clear Santa has far too much power and should not be allowed to make what appears to be arbitrary decisions about naughtiness and niceness.
There should be a committee that checks the reports and votes on which child gets a prezzie from Santa and who just gets a card saying: "Sorry, not enough nice, despite checking it once and checking it twice."