Scrooge’s activist hedge fund letter to Santa Claus

Your entire enterprise exists to supply presents one day a year, yet everyone is on the payroll for 365 days. You will not even extend your franchise to Black Friday, which is a blatant missed opportunity. Meanwhile, you insist on delivering down chimneys, ignoring the fact that only one segment of your target demographic lives in a house. What is wrong with doors?

In short, St Nicholas is one of the least innovative companies I have ever encountered. It is as fat and happy as its chief executive, sticking religiously to an ageing business formula that exposes it to being disrupted.

.. Your lack of interest in profitability struck the traditionalist in me as foolish but I have come to understand the virtues of reinvesting revenues over several centuries in order to dominate your market and entrench your monopoly.

Mark Steyn on ‘White Christmas,’ the original Christmas no1

Before radio, before a real record industry, the sheet-music business couldn’t see the point of working a song that would be dead on 26 December. The notion that it might be a seasonal insurance policy, returning year after year for decade after decade, never occurred to them.

.. Had America entered the war in Europe in 1939, ‘White Christmas’ might have been just a hit record from a so-so movie. Instead, 1942 was the American serviceman’s first Christmas away, in the Pacific, under glorious sunny skies that only made home seem even more distant. In Operation Shylock, Philip Roth wrote:

‘God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and then He gave Irving Berlin ‘Easter Parade’ and ‘White Christmas’. The two holidays that celebrate the divinity of Christ – the divinity that’s the very heart of the Jewish rejection of Christmas – and what does Irving Berlin brilliantly do? He de-Christs them both! Easter turns into a fashion show and Christmas into a holiday about snow… He turns their religion into schlock. But nicely!’