Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
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I had lovely conversations with the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Christmas Present last night. It is always nice to see those guys. I find that I gain a little bit of knowledge from them each year.
Things took a turn for the worse, however, when the Ghost of Christmas Future showed up. This can be difficult. Deep down, he’s a fine fellow, but he is always so negative. I have never ever seen the guy in a festive mood. Still you have to make the best with him. I had just asked him “how exactly does the future have a ghost?” when I woke up. There was a clatter and I had to see what was a matter.
Santa Claus was visiting and I of course had to be a gracious host. (Not that I would want to be anything else.) That took about two seconds, but then, after I went back to sleep, the Ghost of Christmas Future never returned.
Now I fear it is still too early for me to be filled with the Christmas spirit. If I change now, I might lose my annual friends. If I don’t, Tiny Tim’s grave may go unvisited this Christmas day.
I have recently been pondering three of the great age-old questions of the season:
-Why does Santa give coal to bad children? This creates a situation where naughty kids have warm houses during winter while the child with the wonderful new rocking horse freezes to death.
-Why isn't the delivery session an extremely dangerous time for Santa and his helpers? Surely there must be at least some poisoned cookies and razor blades in the carrots.
-How is it that people I am vaguely related to and see twice a year know my name while I just think of them as “that person who looks like that”?
The answer to the third question, of course, is that I am an inherently self-centered and awful person, but the other two need a longer explanation.
A close glance at history reveals that there once was a time when the treats left out for Team Turkish Saint were quite a hazard. Perhaps the most notable incident happened in the mid 1930s when the boys made a heroic journey to the land now known by all as Pakistan. Some indigenous treats were left out at the house of British official. It looked like they must have come from his children, but all of the reindeer became sick after eating them. The now all but forgotten Cromwell, who was then the ranking reindeer in Santa’s fleet, even died. (Cromwell went by the name Dancer. A new deer, Chalke, would take up the role of Dancer by the next year in an incident that was not widely known till The DM Look at Santa Claus began publishing in the 1980s.)
The Reindeer were all convinced that this had to be the action of The Terrorists, most likely of the Radical Islamist Muslim Islamofascist Evildoing variety, and urged that the North Pole take immediate steps to Isolate the land and overthrow its leaders. Elf officials like Opsy countered that such an action could lead to strife and civil war, which could prevent this land from becoming a site for outsourced toy manufacturing, the potential of which was just beginning to become clear to more educated North Pole economists.
Kris Kringle wisely took the advice of both and decided on a compromise policy of bringing coal to not only all the bad Christian children but also to all of the non-Christian children of the nations of the world. This policy was immediately denounced by The Weekly Reindeer as appeasement, but shockingly it worked. There were no attacks on the Jolly Olde Fleete for the next several years.
The success of this plan did not go unnoticed by Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister who was also a distant cousin of Mrs. Claus. (Mrs. Claus and Chamberlain originally did not know of their kinship and as children even liked each other. Mrs. Claus' father wisely put an end to their funny business in a manner that was the original inspiration for the 1996 John Sayles film Lone Star.) In fact, Chamberlain used it to support his idea of appeasing the evil Nazis. That did not work out, if every U.S. hawk of the 1990s is to be believed. (Historians and political scientists now almost universally believe that Santa's acts of appeasement only appeared to be successful because the enemies of freedom were trying to trick Chamberlain into believing that "peace for our time" was possible. This was no doubt all a part of the larger mission by Saddam to attack the Branch Davidians, as documented by Laurie Mylroie.)
The failure of this second bout of appeasement deeply disturbed Santa Claus, but he was no diplomat or think tank fellow –and would not be till 1986 when he joined the Why We Had To Defend Ourselves Against Grenada club- and so he continued his irresponsible ways.
The times had changed, however, and Santa found his brave warriors of joy under intense attacks in areas that were evil and/or non-Christian. Many were lost and the damage would have been even greater if not for Rudolph's death ray. Before the end of World War II, the North Pole had gone back to only serving Christian households. This, combined with help from the fighting men and women of America's finest, better mapping and surveillance technology and just plain staying the hell away from Iraq and Vietnam, have meant that the missions of Santa Claus have been virtually casualty free for more than sixty years. Also, Santa Claus, the elves and the reindeer do not actually eat any of the treats that are left out for them. They are too cranked up on energy drinks and power bars. They do, for the record, annually donate all of the food left out by children or adults like me to the North Pole Correctional Facility, which is in keeping with the spirit of the season and has lead to only a modest increase in the rate of death at the prison.
And it should be noted that, despite the myth, coal is rarely given out these days. Santa instead gives out black jacks to the parents of bad kids. This is probably illegal in places like California and Germany where laws prohibiting the giving of devices such as switches as gifts have been on the books for, in at least one case, more than 80 years. Nonetheless, no charges have ever been filed.