NHS Charities Together, a British concern, is behind a nice little ad about a Covid-afflicted Santa Claus being nursed back to health in a hospital. The 90-second spot is titled “The Gift.” It’s about love and caring, and it has a happy ending.

But a cabal of rightwing idiots and outraged parents are saying “how dare they show Santa suffering from the coronavirus!? Our kids were really upset by this. Doesn’t the NHS understand that Santa is magical and never gets sick? He just cruises around in his flying sled going ho-ho-ho….how dare they?”

I never told my kids that Santa was real. To kids indoctrinated by this silly fable, Santa means one thing and one thing only — loads of free toys. There’s nothing about the Santa legend that mentions love and kindness and charity for the less fortunate.

When I was three or four I was taken to see “the real” Santa at the original Macy’s in Herald Square. Santa has a tight schedule and a lot to prepare for so he restricts himself to Macy’s, my mother told me. “But doesn’t he live at the North Pole?” Yes, but he makes a special trip to Macy’s so children can tell him what they want for Christmas. He can’t meet everyone but he has a special feeling for Macy’s.

“What about the other Santa at Bamberger’s?” He’s not the real Santa, she explained — he’s just a helper. Santa only has time to visits Macy’s. “But what about the Santas in all the California department stores?” Helpers. “Well, what about England? Does Santa visit kids in England or just America?” (I had recently seen Brian Desmond Hurst and Alistair Sim‘s A Christmas Carol.) No, he flies to England, I was told. In fact, Santa flies there first because they’re five hours ahead of us.