NORTH POLE - In a significant departure from long-standing tradition, St. Nicholas will no longer be putting lumps of coal in the stockings of naughty children, starting this Christmas. Instead, sources close to the jolly old elf say he will be giving them something much more disappointing: RoseArt crayons and Mega Bloks building sets.
"We found that coal was simply not enough of a deterrent against bad behavior," explained the head elf, Bernard. "With the popularity of things like kinetic sand and slime, many kids actually find coal kind of fun! On top of that, many parents have complained that giving an incredibly messy black substance to the children who are specifically predisposed to wreaking havoc around the house might not have been our brightest idea."
Under the new system, children deemed "naughty" by the omniscient holiday patriarch can expect to receive cheap knock-offs of the world's two most-requested Christmas gifts: Art supplies and LEGO sets.
"It's actually genius in its simplicity!" Bernard said. "At first glance, children will think they're receiving fairly decent gifts. It won't be until a few hours later when they try using them that they'll finally realize what useless crap they've been given. Just imagine the disillusionment when little Sarah, who threw a tantrum at Costco last week, sits down to draw with her new crayons, only to discover the crayons seem to be made out of plastic that doesn't transfer color to the paper! Or picture Tommy, who ripped the eyes out of his sister's doll, when he discovers that the only thing he'll be building out of those poorly made bricks is his own utter disappointment!"
According to Bernard, Santa is considering expanding the catalog of gifts for naughty children in the future. Items under consideration include copies of the "E.T." Atari video game, gift cards for local vegan restaurants, and those oddly specific XXL shirts that say things like, "Never underestimate someone born in October who has a temper and enjoys pole-vaulting but loves his daughter and debates with strangers online!"