If I ever for real, real believed in Santa Claus, I don’t recall, because I don’t remember realizing I’d been lied to. I do remember we were forced to write letters to the guy in elementary school and he never wrote back. Also that some folks who deserved coal, like Ms. Askew, never got it, so the story never lined up for me.
We curated and (re)posted the “She Sings | The Winter Holidays” playlist, and I’ve been listening to it a lot. On it, Eartha Kitt sings “Santa Baby.” It’s a vibe. But the more I listen to the playlist, the more I find myself humming that particular song. You know what? I don’t really like it. I am intrigued, though. Besides Kitt’s awkward, baby but super-sexy purring, the song is just absurd.
Putting myself in Kitt’s Manolos (don’t you think she wore Manolos?), my sensibilities are disquieted and jettisoned rearward at least three-quarters of a century, as if I’m making a dowry list for my gold-digging parents and adding a little something in for myself, while I’m at it.
Because I’m curious—not that I’m trying to count Santa’s money, but I am—I wanted to add up Eartha’s (and now my) list and see what the grand total would be. Let’s see what we get.
Don’t tell anyone, but I kind of love fur. It’s supposed to be bad, I know, but it’s just so luxe. And sable? Oh my! So I found this sable short coat at Neiman Marcus that I’d totally wear, if I didn’t have to pay rent, student loans, utilities, mobile phone, car insurance, etc. … and, perhaps, if I lived in Alaska. It’s $88,000.
I do love a vintage car. At the time the song was released (1953), though, the convertible wouldn’t have been vintage; it would have been brand new. My mom and I assumed Kitt was referencing a Cadillac because that was the thing then, and another Christmas song she released (that flopped) affirmed that. A mint condition ’54 blue convertible Cadillac (though I’d prefer black) would set Santa back $85,000.
One of my friends and her husband vacationed on a yacht in Spain for their anniversary. That’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to an actual one. Choosing one was cool, though; I was quite modest at $1.9 million with the Cru. $1,950,000.
This one was super tricky for me. Believe it or not, if you google “price of a platinum mine,” you can’t readily find an answer. Thankfully, I have a friend who does commodity trading and nerds out on things like this. He found that the day I set out to write this, the price of 50 Troy ounces of platinum is $2,025. And that in December of 2016, South African Sibanye Gold bought North American palladium and platinum-mining Stillwater Mining Company for $2.2 billion. In his explanation to me, there were words, more words, then a figure of $624 million and a final determination that it would be safe to say a single mine would probably cost about $1.5 billion. So year, there’s that. If you disagree, take it up with him.
A duplex is something I can handle. I figured I’d take liberties and do two things: get a property I could make work for me. With that, I chose to get a condo in Starkville near Mississippi State’s campus. That could make us some good AirBnB money. $471,000.
Kitt said she wanted three checks. She didn’t designate an amount. She probably wanted blank checks, but that doesn’t work for calculating, so I decided we’d get three checks at $25,000 a piece. $75,000.
This one requires some finagling too, but unlike the platinum mine, it’s right up my alley. Eartha said she (we) wanted) to trim the tree with ornaments from Tiffany & Co. Ye average O’ Tannenbaum is 7.5 feet tall; for that to be completely covered, according to interior designers, we’d need about 300 ornaments of varying size. On average, a blue-box-company ornament is $200. That costs a cool $60,000.
Lastly, a ring. We’re going to avoid that kind of ring because who wants to be tied down that way? If someone gives you this much stuff, they’re already going to think they own you, but you may as well play into the sham and go for diamonds. Let’s not go white, though, we don’t want to confuse anyone or have them think the rock is a CZ. Ten carats of yellowish brown diamonds. Don’t want to break the bank either, I guess. $49,000.
The grand total is a whopping $1,502,778,000. And folks on Twitter complaining about $200 dates. Chile, puh-leez.