Littlewoods have an advert out that says Mum, not Santa, buys the presents. Oh, there is Outrage! How dare these evil corporations tell children that there is no fat man in a sleigh delivering their hearts' desires for free! How dare they point out that those iPods must be paid for! There are hundreds of complaints along these lines.
I have complaints about this advert too. First, that it encourages parents to use their credit cards to buy things they can't afford. Second, that it encourages children to believe that spending loads on credit is a good idea, and that it's okay to pressure Mum to do this.
Third, that it gives the impression Dad contributes diddly squat to that huge pile of nicely-wrapped crap under the plastic tree with its LED ecolights and the fairy on top with an arse full of pine needles.
Santa? Most kids know Santa isn't real. They go along with the adult charade because they know they'll get extra presents out of it. As for the rest, if they didn't spend so much time glued to the screen they'd never see the ad.
There are reasons to complain about the tone of the ad but the fate of the jolly fat man is a long way down the list. Yet that's the only aspect anyone seems worried about. Spending money they don't have on plastic pooping dogs and dancing tennis balls is fine, as long as the kids think they're getting it all for free from that communist elfin regime at the North Pole.
It all has to be paid for, kids. When Santa comes round for his money, better be sure you have it ready for him.
Those elves can show a nasty side if they're upset.
(Ooooo, Christmas story idea just popped into my head!)