Santa Exposed: Diary of a Mad Elf

Duane Gundrum
9 min readNov 10, 2021
How Santa Knows Who’s Naughty and Nice

There is no god.

At least that’s what Santa told me one day long ago when the two of us were alone in his workshop. You see, I was his one good ally, the only elf he always knew he could trust, so I was the only one in which he felt he could confide. Of course, that was before everything changed, but I guess I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here.

You see, things were bothering Santa in the later years, and he needed someone with whom he could speak. He and Mrs. Claus didn’t always see eye to eye as Santa was a Republican and Mrs. Claus was a staunch Democrat and all, but they had also grown quite distant over the years, so they rarely spoke to each other. At times, it was a very tense situation. So, as you can imagine, I became his only friend.

And someone like Santa needed friends. I mean, he wasn’t as rolly polly as everyone likes to make him seem in all the legends and stories. That kind of crap just sells product, and Santa was most definitely a salesman. He’d have to be if you think about it. What other company, aside from the Church, has been around as long as Santa’s Enterprise? But, yes, he was overweight, and he did tend to chuckle a lot, but that didn’t mean he was a charm to be around. Have you ever been around someone who has had a weight problem for over two thousands years and can’t seem to kick it? I mean, how many “I’m a big boned kind of guy” comments can you take before you start to suspect that maybe he was chowing down on one too many bon-bons before the only day of the year he actually works?

No, he was a miserable old fart, and he made life quite miserable for those of us around him, even me when he was in that sort of mood.

Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t easy to admit. I used to like the old guy, but there were times when you didn’t know whether or not you could trust him. He knew everything, knew when you were good or bad, so there was no getting around him. He was an evil, malicious old bastard who knew just how to get under your skin. And he was just the kind of person to do just that. You certainly don’t see Santa’s media people telling you anything about that.

Most people don’t know the origin of Santa Claus, and that’s why there’s such a misunderstanding about him. Oh, they hear the stories of how he makes…



Duane Gundrum

Author of Innocent Until Proven Guilty and 15 other novels. Writer, college professor and computer game designer.