Santa and a "Noachite" Standard

By David Kessler

"The Rabbis point out that these words may be understood that despite the depravity that raged about him, he [Noah] remained unspotted and untainted by corruption.  It may, however, also mean that in his generations i.e. judged by the low standard of his age, Noah was righteous; but had he lived in the period of Abraham, he would not have been conspicuous for goodness."  From the Hertz Humash, on Genesis, chapter 6

My friends specifically said that that gift they had for me was from Santa.  Now "Secret Santas" are actually co-workers, so this is the first year that I've actually received something FROM SANTA.  The gift was appropriate and I like it a lot, so I don't think it was a mistake.

Which raises certain questions:

The first two seem unlikely... The third is definitely the most plausible.  Barring a relativistic approach to his naughty/nice standards, my suddenly being placed on the nice list might suggest a lowering of the bar, or that worldwide behavior shifted toward the naughty side.

Could globalization have somehow effected the behavior bell-curve?  Could an expansion of the worldwide economy (raising the number of countries that have developed economies that can support chimney industries, and therefore increasing the statistical sample) have led to a drop in overall behavioral indicators?  That would mean that Americans are morally superior to the rest of the world.  (Quick pause to let that sink in...  Right, it must be something else.)

Could Santa's data on foreign countries be skewed?  Questioning Santa's research or judgement seems a horribly flawed idea (especially if I want to get another book from him next year).

Faced with the moral superiority of Americans, versus globalization NOT being a significant factor, I think the latter is a safer judgement; Remember, the Pope offered plenary forgiveness (i.e. a high niceness rating) to any pilgrim to the Holy See in this jubilee year, and I don't think the US was number 1 for sending Catholics to Rome.

Which would suggest that the standards have been changed.

I thought that email about G.W. Bush suing Santa to stop checking and re-checking the list was a light-hearted internet joke.  Could it have been true?  Maybe my gift is one small, positive result from this year's election debacle.

I know there are those of you out there who will simply say that there is no Santa and that the present came from my friends.  But I've read that "Yes, Virginia..." column and it says that Santa exists precisely because there are kind, giving people in the world; Either way, Santa is involved.

If I stay with this, I'm sure to figure out what happened.  Maybe one need not reach a hard and fast standard of niceness, but need only improve significantly from the previous year.  Well let's see - I spent the majority of the year out of work, either collecting odd tales and exploits or writing about them.  Could this be the change?  Does happy-go-luckiness count for nice points in Santa's book?  So far it's either that, or a sudden drop in morality standards by a litigation-bound Claus, Inc.

Or maybe I've been exceptionally nice this past year.

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