A Visit from St. Nicholas, Part 1

Coca Cola? Perhaps not...

Over the last week or so, my wife and I have been busy preparing our home for Christmas.  A few days after Thanksgiving, we found a wonderfully large fir that was nearly too large for the living room (and was in fact too large for our trusty old tree stand, necessitating an emergency trip to our neighborhood hardware store).

In that spirit, we’ve been reading our toddler Christmas-themed books each night before bed –  classics such as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, and The Night Before Christmas.

As my wife was reading The Night Before Christmas aloud to our child the other night, a few lines of the story – written by Clement Clarke Moore and originally published in the early 1800s – I got to thinking: perhaps ol’ Saint Nick, as originally described by Moore, was secretly a serious boozer.

From the original:

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself…

Consider the description more plainly: a broad face with glassy eyes, rosy cheeks, a bulbous red nose, and a joking smile.  He has a chubby, plump stature and laughs for no apparent reason.  You have to admit, if someone were described to you this way, you’d probably assume they had a habit of hitting the bottle pretty hard.

And why wouldn’t he?  He lives at the North Pole, a frigid climate to be sure.  His only human contact is his wife (alone, reason enough to drink); otherwise, he’s surrounded by green-felt clad little people, who work year-round manufacturing jobs.  He’s also the sole manager of this colossal production.  And one day a year, he’s forced to traverse the Earth like some international mailman. The jet lag alone would be killer.

Objectively speaking then, it’s no wonder Santa would appear as described by Moore.  What else is there to do while hopping (in the open air, sans cabin pressure no less) from continent to continent?

So help Santa out.  After the kids put out the milk and cookies on Christmas Eve, add a little something extra for Old St. Nick – perhaps such generosity will encourage him to take your name off the Naughty List.  Well, that might be a little ambitious.

Published in: on December 22, 2011 at 6:01 pm  Comments (4)  
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  1. Love this!!

  2. for all the years of being santa I never had a nip at the end of the night. Merry Christmas

    • I think it’s because you were too busy putting the stickers on the toys!

  3. Yo THF!

    For the past month, I have been bad mouthing Old Saint Nick. He gets all the credit, while I get stuck with the bill. My 7 year old said the following when I critiqued his wish list, “What do you care? it’s not like you’re paying for it!”. Of course, when a 7 year old gets mouthy, I have to dig deep and suppress the Old School Sicilian dad that is bubbling below the surface. The best I can do is send him to his room. I say again… The Fat Man gets all the credit. I get the bill!

    Thanks to you, I now feel guilty about my ill will towards Santa. He has a big, lonely job! Managing a ginourmous manufacturing facility in a frigid climate AND being responsible for fulfilling the hopes and dreams of people all around the world. Under those circumstances, I;d be in and out of rehab more often than Charlie Sheen.

    As retribution for my ill will, perhaps I’ll leave Santa a Glencairn glass filled with Laphroiag 18 and some chocolate chip cookies. And if I can stay awake, perhaps I’ll keep him company and have a dram as well.

    Merry Christmas! Enjoy your time with La Famiglia!


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