—You’re conflating issues, Trudy—

—Which brings me to my second demand: An ombudsman that both you and Reindeer agree upon. Someone who has the authority to act as judge and jury in hearing complaints against you—or any person, Elf, or Reindeer—of mental, physical, or professional abuse. 

—This is my village and I won’t stand for anyone abusing anyone else! 

—What if you’re the abuser, Santa? It’s quite the irony that here you are, asking me to help you save Christmas when a year and a half earlier you told my father how disappointed you were in him for having a son like me. A freak that would never—that could never—be a part of the elite sleigh team. 

—Trudy, I don’t recall saying anything like that, but I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt by something you misremembered. 

—Thank you for putting your gaslighting skills on full display. If anyone had doubts about my allegations, they’ll start to reconsider now. Only I know no one does. Deep down, they’ve all experienced one form of torment at your hands. They’ve all known someone become the latest casualty to your whims and machinations. Those days are over, Santa. You have a simple choice: change or be cast aside. 

—No one is going to be cast aside! Not me, and, and, not you or you or you! Santa shouted, pointing randomly at no one. —Well, I said I would be accommodating and that’s exactly what I intend to do. Thank you for bringing it up, Trudy. I had in my mind to have this very conversation—but I’m glad you have brought it to the fore. Now, can we please get ready to go? We have a long night ahead of us!

—No. Trudy says. 

—What? What do you mean? Santa said.

—Three conditions, Santa. I have three conditions. I’ve only given you two.