ST. NICK STRIKES BACK: Rejection Letters from Santa

we intercepted correspondence between some Chippewa Valley folks and the jolly old elf

Eric Rasmussen |

Editor’s note: Due to poor cybersecurity at the North Pole, longtime Volume One contributor Eric Rasmussen managed to intercept some recent correspondence between Chippewa Valley residents and Santa Claus. Enjoy this peek behind the snowy curtain that obscures what’s usually going on with Kris Kringle.

Esteemed Father Christmas,

Good day, sir. I hope it’s not too forward to seek your generosity for a certain Christmas present this year. As I float through the streets of modern Eau Claire, with its people, upscale arts centers, trendy arcade/restaurants, lit-up trees, and gentle sense of mirth, I can’t help but yearn for the spirit of old Eau Claire. Where are the lumberjacks getting into drunken fights? The brothels? The markers of a hardscrabble life lived in the wild forests of newly claimed territory?

I seek but a remembrance of the city I once knew.

Yours truly,
The Ghost of H.C. Putnam

Dear H.C. Putnam (deceased),

Believe me, I know what you’re talking about. In the past, naughty kids got coal. Actual coal! Today, guess what I leave for the delinquents? The same crap as the good kids. The world’s gotten soft.

Still, your request is a challenging one. Go haunt Houligan’s the Thursday before Christmas. I’ll arrange for a moderately heated argument between waitstaff and a customer over the doneness of a steak. That’s about as exciting as it gets around here anymore.

Glad tidings,
Father Christmas

Dear St. Nick,

I get it. I’m super cute. But with all these new people walking by, I’m also a mess! No one keeps their hands to themselves, and no one washes up before caressing my adorable haunches. I’m covered in grease and Cheetos powder. For Christmas, I need a “No Touching” sign.

The Pig Statue “Charlotte” Just Down From the Mousetrap


Dear Piggie,

As someone who gets touched by little kids A LOT, you have my sympathies. But the folds of your skin look so real! How do they do that? I’m just going to have myself a quick feel. Then I’ll bring you that sign, I swear.

Santa Claus

Dear Santa,

I’m pretty sure I’m on your naughty list. To be clear, it’s not my fault. How am I supposed to control what people do on me?

So, while I understand that my cushions are saturated in liquor and bong water and all sorts of other … evidence of malfeasance, I really need your help, Santa. With all the new apartments going up around town, I can’t handle any more moves. I need a forever home, a family to love me from now on, at least until one of my arms snaps off.

That One Couch That Keeps Getting Passed Around to Various Renters



I remember when you were just a little baby sofa, handed down from that kindly grandma to her grandson when he headed off to college in the mid-1990s, back when the world seemed so simple.

Since then, I can’t imagine the things you’ve seen. And … soaked up. For Christmas this year, I’ll bring you a plastic slip cover. It might be the only hope you’ve got.

Take care,


OHMYGOSH. I wanna climb that? Mama says, “No, no.” Too high. But we climb that please?

Area Toddlers Who REALLY Want to Climb the Cranes Downtown


Dear Kids,

The children’s museum is almost done, I swear. Can you wait until that opens?

No? Alright, fine. But you can’t climb all the way to the top. Only as high as I can reach. Right there. No, that’s too far. You have to stop. Listen to me. Stop. If your mom sees this, she’s literally going to kill me. This was such a bad idea.

Come down from there or we’re not watching Paw Patrol during rest time. I’m serious. You think I’m bluffing, but I’m not. Get down RIGHT NOW.

St. Nicholas

Dear Mr. Kringle,

Can you explain one thing to me? Why the HELL does Eau Claire need so many new apartment buildings? Where are all these people coming from? Are any of the options affordable? I’m REALLY MAD about this, for some reason, and for Christmas I’d like some answers.

Chippewa Valley Resident with Exceptionally Strong Opinions About Housing and Urban Development


Dear Incensed Local Housing Enthusiast,

To begin, I’m no expert. But Eau Claire is growing, and housing is in short supply. As the population trends more urban and focuses on many of the amenities now available downtown, denser living situations are gaining appeal. While there is certainly a need for more affordable housing, a downtown with a strong residential component makes that easier, not harder, not to mention the simple truths of supply and demand. A higher supply of rental units will help regulate prices. Economics 101.

Ha! Did you buy any of that? Truth is, I have no idea what I’m talking about. You’re right – it sure doesn’t seem like we need that many apartments. For Christmas, I’m bringing back all those old Phoenix Steel warehouses. And remember that old adult bookstore building on the river? Once again, it’s yours!

Merry Christmas,
Santa Claus