My daughter writes letters to Santa every year outlining her wishes, desires and relentless reiterations of how good she has been this year, in the hopes that her good behaviour will be rewarded with a pile of presents under the tree on Christmas morning.

The other day, she received a reply from Santa, sent straight from the North Pole which advised my daughter that she had been good and if she continues to conduct herself accordingly, she will, in fact, receive the presents she requested.

Being a lawyer, my first instinct was to further analyze this scenario. I concluded that the letter to Santa that my daughter had written was an “offer” in which she proposed that given her good behaviour, Santa should supply her with presents. In response to this most reasonable offer, Santa wrote back “accepting” the terms she proposed.

Apparently, there was an offer by my daughter that was accepted by Santa. In legal terms, there was a meeting of the minds wherein the expectations of the relevant parties were clearly outlined in the respective letters – my daughter’s good behaviour constitutes the good and valuable consideration required to form a contract. Therefore, by all appearances, the letters that passed between my daughter and Santa formed a legally binding contract.

But what if Santa failed to deliver? Well, there is always recourse when a party breaches the terms of a binding contract. However, legally speaking, it is always prudent to consider if such recourse is enforceable and practical in the circumstances.

In terms of enforceability, I would certainly suggest that my daughter execute judgment against Santa’s assets. I am sure that Santa has tons of toys and we know he has a property at the North Pole and a team of reindeer that led his sleigh (which can fly!). We must also keep in mind that in order to proceed with a Notice of Civil Claim against Santa, we must personally serve him. I have not worked out the logistics yet, as we will likely require the services of a skip tracer and a Bailiff immune to terribly cold temperatures.

Finally, one must always consider the practical consequences of one’s conduct. Could suing Santa for breach of contract banish you to the “naughty” list for life? Could this result in Santa silence, or worse, no presents for anyone? At a minimum, whether or not your claim is successful, in the future, Santa would likely require a liability waiver to be signed by all children, barring them from future legal action and limiting Santa’s legal exposure.

These are all very practical matters that your child must carefully consider before deciding whether or not to sue Santa.

The information provided above is for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace the advice of a lawyer or address specific situations. Your personal situation should be discussed with a lawyer. If you have any questions or concerns, contact a legal professional.

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