A few years ago, my friend Marcus and I used to get into these huge arguments when the holidays approached over which culture had the better Santa Claus -- blacks or Latinos. Being Latino, I felt I had to stick up for my gente, so I would regale him with tales about Santos Claus, the Mexican-American Santa Claus who brought toys to all the good Raza living in the barrio. Meanwhile, Marcus would counter with stories about Kwanzaa Klaus and the many good deeds he would perform for African-American kids in the hood.
It got to where our stories were becoming so absurd that I felt I had to finally collect all of the myths and untruths and lay them to rest. What ended up happening was a skit for the Latino Comedy Project called Santos Claus.
What I wanted to do here was tell the story of Santos Claus without embellishments or half-truths. This is the true story of Santos Claus as told to me by the elf himself.
he story of Santos Claus begins about 15 years ago, when Eddie Santos, a young Latino from South San Antonio, was working for the jolly old elf panson, Santa Claus. Eddie was a regular guy, a young man who had no idea that his future would be born of oppression and that he would one day be an avenger who'd come to save Christmas from an evil empire. He was just a guy with a marketing degree who thought Christmas toys were pretty cool.
One day while working under Santa at the North Pole, Eddie made a startling realization. He saw that a lot of the toys that were being distrubuted were not very appropriate for the the Latino kids they were being delivered to.
It went a little something like this:
EDDIE SANTOS: Sir, I just think we should reconsider this gift.
SANTA CLAUS: What's to reconsider?
EDDIE SANTOS: Well, this girl's family had their house swept away in the Laredo floods. Everything they had was lost. They live in a shack now with no plumbing.
SANTA CLAUS: So?
EDDIE SANTOS: We're giving her a Barbie Dream House.
SANTA CLAUS: Little girls LOVE Barbie!
EDDIE SANTOS: Don't you think it's a little insensitive? I mean, don't you think it may make her feel a little, I don't know, inferior?
SANTA CLAUS: I don't really know where you're going with this, Eddie.
EDDIE SANTOS: Okay, forget Barbie. What about Ramon Flores in San Antonio? He lives in the worst barrio in the city and we're giving him a bike.
SANTA CLAUS: Yes, and -- ?
EDDIE SANTOS: We're giving him a bike with rainbow twirls coming out of the handlebars and a big pink flag sticking out of the seat.
SANTA CLAUS: Not cool enough, Eddie?
EDDIE SANTOS: The flag says "Little Dickie" on it.
SANTA CLAUS: That's the brand name!
EDDIE SANTOS: Santa, with all due respect, that kid is going to get his ass kicked every day until next Christmas if he rides around on that bike. He'll be asking for a wheelchair next year.
Eddie tried to reason with Santa, but it was no use. And then, adding insult to injury, Eddie found out that a promotion he'd been lobbying for, to be in charge of all toy distribution for Latino boys and girls, was given to Steve Kraft, a white guy from marketing with a Harvard degree. Santa offered Eddie the chance to be in charge of the North Pole's annual tamale feast instead.
Eddie, dejected, was joined by his pals, Chato Elf and Juan the Elf. It should be noted that these elves are extremely well-endowed for no real good reason:
JUAN THE ELF: Hola, Eddie.
EDDIE SANTOS: Hola Juan. Hey Chato.
JUAN THE ELF: We heard what happened.
CHATO ELF: Yeah, man, that dude is full of shit!
JUAN THE ELF: Chato!
CHATO ELF: He's full of shit and cookies and eggnog. That fat pendejo.
EDDIE SANTOS: I can't believe I lost the promotion.
JUAN THE ELF: We're sorry, man. Is there anything we can do?
CHATO ELF: I'll tell you what we need to do. We need to take that Steve vato and string him up by his bolas like a bunch of Christmas lights. Then, we feed him to the reindeer!
THE ELF: Come on, Chato. Be serious. What can we do?
CHATO ELF: I was being serious. Man, I got this big knife I use to carve marionettes…
EDDIE SANTOS: No, my friend, violence is never the answer. Unless, of course, it is to strike down the oppression of a ruling class that has brought tyranny on the working man.
JUAN THE ELF: Símon.
CHATO ELF: Fuckin' A, man!