NORTH POLE — Santa Claus shocked Christmas enthusiasts worldwide today by launching a Patreon campaign to fund his 2018 world tour, setting off speculation about his long-term stability while inspiring a rush of donations from concerned fans.
“Without help from the global Christmas community, my annual trip around the earth may have to be canceled,” said Kris Kringle in an introductory video on the Patreon site. “The gift-giving economy is changing rapidly, and each year, it’s more difficult to give the fans what they want — billions of handmade toys, delivered in one night, for every nice child on earth using advanced quantum physics. We need your help to keep going.”
Avid North Pole watchers speculate that Jolly Old Saint Nick’s tumultuous 2018 is a key factor in his need for a crowdfunded Christmas Eve.
“The resurfacing of decades-old ‘mommy kissing’ allegations forced the pullout of major corporate sponsors,” said Lenny Wilson, head of ONSanta, a leading Santa Claus watchdog group. “And a legal battle with the city of Seattle put Santa’s workplace practices into the spotlight, as the city council threatened to pass an ‘Elf Labor Fairness’ tax on every gift given within Seattle, unless Santa permitted elf unionization. So now, he’s got to try to squeeze as much cash as he can from his die-hard fan base if he’s going to continue.”
While many have been receptive to Santa’s Patreon campaign, there are some vocal detractors.
“Crowdfunding betrays the entire DIY spirit of Christmas. This guy is begging fans for money because Amazon’s algorithm only has to check its list once? ‘Sellout’ is too kind a word,” said Slimy “Snowboots” Randolph, a former elf who now works as a concert promoter in the North Pole.
Others were receptive to contributing to the magical night, but criticized the Patreon rewards.
“Access to the 2019 ‘Naughty or Nice’ list is legitimately amazing,” said Consuelo Morales, who described herself as “probably the biggest Santa fan in El Paso.” “But who can afford to pay $10,000 for that? And the ‘Workshop Workshop’ sounds cool… but it’s only offered in the North Pole, and flights up there are not affordable. I did contribute $20 to get permanently removed from his mailing list, though — I’ve been trying to unsubscribe for years. Dude sends out way too many emails.”
At press time, Santa’s Patreon had received 12 million retweets, 8 million Facebook shares and $375 in funding.