It's a childhood ritual to sit on Santa's lap as a kid and tell him what you want for Christmas (while an elf moves things along, probably in a mall). But, this week, Saturday Night Live asks: what if kids want to know what is going on in the world?
This week's cold open finds Kate McKinnon playing a liberal elf and Keenan Thompson as a Santa who majored in musical theatre and would really like to take a smoke break. As the line of kids come through, wishes go from laser tag to keeping the embassy of Israel in Tel Aviv. The kids start out by asking Santa to tell them what Al Franken and Roy Moore did, which is harrowing enough for this duo, to repeating their parents' talking points on the tax bill.
It shines a light on something the childless among us might not spend a lot of time thinking about: kids are seeing every crazy thing happening on the news these days, too. We're all navigating it on a day-by-day (sometimes hour-by-hour) basis and have little idea what so many of the scandals, upheavals, and political showdowns will mean for the future — and kids can sense that tension. We're raising an entire generation in the middle of a cultural tug of war. Generation Z, sorry for your rocky childhood.
The other layer here is: We are all these kids. While any viewer who fits into the age range of Millennial or older knows they are the elf or the Santa, it is easy to identify yourself as the kids in this sketch. Who isn't waiting for someone to come along and explain where this ride is going, along with the mechanics of how so much instability happened seemingly all at once (and then make it stop)?
An American Girl doll isn't going to cut it this year. All everyone wants for Christmas is some normalcy.
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