I think Santa Claus is a woman.....
I hate to be the one to defy sacred myth, but I believe he's a she.
Think about it. Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing social deal, and I have a tough time believing a guy could possibly pull it all off!
For starters, the vast majority of men don't even think about selecting gifts until Christmas Eve. It's as if they are all frozen in some kind of Ebenezerian Time Warp until 3 p.m. on Dec. 24th, when they - with amazing calm - call other errant men and plan for a last-minute shopping spree.
Once at the mall, they always seem surprised to find only Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and mood rings left on the shelves. (You might think this would send them into a fit of panic and guilt, but my husband tells me it's an enormous relief because it lessens the 11th hour decision making burden.) On this count alone, I'm convinced Santa is a woman. Surely, if he were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find a rotating musical Chia Pet under the tree, still in the bag.
Another problem for a he-Santa would be getting there. First of all, there would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted and strapped on the rear bumper of the sleigh amid wide-eyed desperate claims that buck season had been extended. Blitzen's rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist.
Even if the male Santa DID have reindeer, he'd still have transportation problems because he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions. Add to this the fact that there would be unavoidable delays in the chimney, where the Bob Vila-like Santa would stop to inspect and repoint bricks in the flue. He would also need to check for carbon monoxide fumes in every gas fireplace, and get under every Christmas tree that is crooked to straighten it to a perfectly upright 90-degree angle.
Other reasons why Santa can't possible be a man:
I can buy the fact that other mythical holiday characters are men..... Father Time shows up once a year unshaven and looking ominous. Definite guy. Cupid flies around carrying weapons. Uncle Sam is a politician who likes to point fingers.
Any one of these individuals could pass the testosterone screening test.
But no St. Nick. Not a chance. As long as we have each other, good will, peace on earth, faith and Nat King Cole's version of "The Christmas Song", it probably makes little difference what gender Santa is...
I just wish she'd quit dressing like a guy!!!
I went to the door today and the postman delivered a partridge in a pear tree. What a delightful gift. I couldn't have been more surprised.
With dearest love and affection, Agnes
Today the postman brought your very sweet gift. Just imagine, two turtle doves. I'm just delighted at your very thoughtful gift. They are just adorable.
All my love, Agnes
Oh, aren't you the extravagant one! Now I must protest. I don't deserve such generosity. Three french hens. They are just darling but I must insist. You're just too kind.
Today the postman delivered four calling birds. Now really! They are beautiful, but don't you think enough is enough? You're being too romantic.
What a surprise! Today the postman delivered five golden rings. One for each finger. You're just impossible, but I love it. Frankly, John, all those squawking birds were beginning to get on my nerves.
All my love, Agnes
When I opened the door there were actually six geese-a-laying on my front steps. So you're back to the birds again, huh? Those geese are huge. Where will I ever keep them? The neighbors are complaining and I can't sleep through the racket. PLEASE STOP!
What's with you and those birds???? Seven swans-a-swimming. What kind of joke is this? There's bird do-do all over the house and they never stop the racket. I'm a nervous wreck and I can't sleep all night. IT'S NOT FUNNY. So stop with those birds.
I think I prefer the birds. What am I going to do with eight maids-a-milking? It's not enough with all those birds and eight maids-a-milking, but they had to bring their own cows. There is poop all over the lawn and I can't move into my own house. Just lay off me.
What are you? Some kind of sadist? Now there's nine pipers playing. And do they play! They never stopped chasing those maids since they got here yesterday morning. The cows are upset and are stepping all over those screeching birds. No wonder they screech. What am I going to do? The neighbours have started a petition to evict me. You'll get yours.
Now there's ten ladies dancing - I don't know why I call them ladies. Now the cows can't sleep and they've got diarrhea. My living room is a river of poop. The commissioner of buildings has subpoenaed me to give cause why the building shouldn't be condemned. I'm sicking the police on you.
One who means it, Ag
What's with the eleven lords a-leaping? All 234 of the birds are dead. I hope you're satisfied, you rotten swine.
Your sworn enemy, Miss Agnes McCallister
December 25th (From the law offices Taeker, Spedar, and Baegar)
This is to acknowledge your latest gift of twelve fiddlers fiddling, which you have seen fit to inflict on our client, Miss Agnes McCallister. The destruction, of course, was total. All correspondence should come to our attention. If you should attempt to reach Miss McCallister at Happy Dale Sanitarium, the attendants have instructions to shoot you on sight. With this letter, please find attached a warrant for your arrest.
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the kitchen;
I was cooking and baking and moanin and bitchin.
I've been here for hours, I cant stop to rest.
This rooms a disaster, just look at this mess !
Tommorow I've got thirty people to feed.
They expect all the trimmings. Who cares what I need !
My feet are both blistered, I've got cramps in my legs.
The cat just knocked over a bowl full of eggs.
Theres a knock at the door and the telephones ringing;
Frosting drips on the counter as the microwaves dinging.
Two pies in the oven, desserts almost done;
My cookbook is soiled with butter and crumbs.
I've had alI I can stand, I cant take anymore;
Then in walks my husband, spilling rum on the floor.
He weaves and he wobbles, his balance unsteady;
Then grins as he chuckles "The eggnog is ready !"
He looks all around and with total regret,
Says "Whats taking so long....arent you through in here yet ??"
As quick as a flash I reach for a knife;
He loses an earlobe; I wanted his life !
He flees from the room in terror and pain
And screams "MY GOD WOMAN, YOU'RE GOING INSANE !!"
Now what was I doing, and what is that smell ?
Oh shoot it's the pies !! They're burned all to hell !!
I hate to admit when I make a mistake,
But I put them on BROIL instead of on BAKE.
What else can go wrong ?? Is there still more ahead ??
If this is good living, I'd rather be dead.
Lord, dont get me wrong, I love holidays;
It just leaves me exhausted, all shakey and dazed.
But I promise you one thing, If I live till next year,
You wont find me pulling my hair out in here.
I'll hire a maid, a cook, and a waiter;
And if that doesnt work, I'LL HAVE IT ALL CATERED !!!
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, except Papa's mouse.
The computer was humming, the icons were hopping,
As Papa did last-minute Internet shopping.
The stockings were hung by the modem with care,
In hope that St. Nicholas would bring new software.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of computer games danced in their heads.
PageMaker for Billy, and Quicken for Dan,
And Carmen Sandiego for Pamela Ann.
The letters to Santa had been sent out by Mom,
To email@example.com -
Which has now been re-routed to Washington State
Because Santa's workshop has been bought by Bill Gates.
All the elves and reindeer have had to skedaddle,
To flashy new quarters in suburban Seattle.
After centuries of a life that was simple and spare,
St. Nicholas is suddenly a new billionaire,
With a shiny red Porsche in the place of his sleigh,
And a house on Lake Washington that's just down the way
From where Bill has his mansion.
The old fellow preens
In black Gucci boots and red Calvin Klein jeans.
The elves have stock options and desks with a view,
Where they write computer code for Johnny and Sue.
No more dolls or toy soldiers or little toy drums (ahem - pardon me)
No more dolls or tin soldiers or little toy drums
Will be under the tree, only compact disk ROMS.
With the Microsoft label. So spin up your drive,
From now on Christmas runs only on Win95.
More rapid than eagles the competitors came,
And Bill whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.
"Now, ADOBE! now, CLARIS! now, INTUIT! too,
Now, APPLE! and NETSCAPE! you are all of you through.
It is Microsoft's SANTA that the kids can't resist,
It's the ultimate software with a traditional twist -
Recommended by no less than the jolly old elf,
And on the package, a picture of Santa himself.
Get 'em young, keep 'em long, is Microsoft's scheme,
And a merger with Santa is a marketer's dream.
To the top of the NASDAQ! to the top of the Dow!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away - wow!"
And Mama in her 'kerchief and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
The whir and the hum of our satellite platter,
As it turned toward that new Christmas star in the sky,
The SANTALITE owned by the Microsoft guy.
As I sprang from my bed and was turning around,
My computer turned on with a Jingle-Bells sound.
And there on the screen was a smiling Bill Gates
Next to jolly old Santa, two arm-in-arm mates.
And I heard them exclaim in voice so bright,
Have a MICROSOFT CHRISTMAS, and TO ALL A GOODNIGHT!
'Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the annual Yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of residence, kinetic activity was not in evidence among the possessors of this potential, including that species of domestic rodent known as Mus musculus.
Hosiery was meticulously suspended from the forward edge of the wood burning caloric apparatus, pursuant to our anticipatory pleasure regarding an imminent visitation from an eccentric philanthropist among whose folkloric appellations is the honorific title of St. Nicholas.
The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in their respective accommodations of repose, were experiencing subconscious visual hallucinations of variegated fruit confections moving rhythmically through their cerebrums.
My conjugal partner and I, attired in our nocturnal head coverings, were about to take slumberous advantage of the hibernal darkness when upon the avenaceous exterior portion of the grounds there ascended such a cacophony of dissonance that I felt compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of repose for the purpose of ascertaining the precise source thereof.
Hastening to the casement, I forthwith opened the barriers sealing this fenestration, noting thereupon that the lunar brilliance without, reflected as it was on the surface of a recent crystalline precipitation, might be said to rival that of the solar meridian itself - thus permitting my incredulous optical sensory organs to behold a miniature airborne runnered conveyance drawn by eight diminutive specimens of the genus Rangifer, piloted by a minuscule, aged chauffeur so ebullient and nimble that it became instantly apparent to me that he was indeed our anticipated caller. With his ungulate motive power travelling at what may possibly have been more vertiginous velocity than patriotic alar predators, he vociferated loudly, expelled breath musically through contracted labia, and addressed each of the octet by his or her respective cognomen - "Now Dasher, now Dancer..." et al. - guiding them to the uppermost exterior level of our abode, through which structure I could readily distinguish the concatenations of each of the 32 cloven pedal extremities.
As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile location, and was performing a 180-degree pivot, our distinguished visitant achieved - with utmost celerity and via a downward leap - entry by way of the smoke passage. He was clad entirely in animal pelts soiled by the ebony residue from oxidations of carboniferous fuels which had accumulated on the walls thereof. His resemblance to a street vendor I attributed largely to the plethora of assorted playthings which he bore dorsally in a commodious cloth receptacle.
His orbs were scintillant with reflected luminosity, while his submaxillary dermal indentations gave every evidence of engaging amiability. The capillaries of his malar regions and nasal appurtenance were engorged with blood which suffused the subcutaneous layers, the former approximating the coloration of Albion's floral emblem, the latter that of the Prunus avium, or sweet cherry. His amusing sub- and supralabials resembled nothing so much as a common loop knot, and their ambient hirsute facial adornment appeared like small, tabular and columnar crystals of frozen water.
Clenched firmly between his incisors was a smoking piece whose grey fumes, forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput, were suggestive of a decorative seasonal circlet of holly. His visage was wider than it was high, and when he waxed audibly mirthful, his corpulent abdominal region undulated in the manner of impectinated fruit syrup in a hemispherical container. He was, in short, neither more nor less than an obese, jocund, multigenarian gnome, the optical perception of whom rendered me visibly frolicsome despite every effort to refrain from so being. By rapidly lowering and then elevating one eyelid and rotating his head slightly to one side, he indicated that trepidation on my part was groundless.
Without utterance and with dispatch, he commenced filling the aforementioned appended hosiery with various of the aforementioned articles of merchandise extracted from his aforementioned previously dorsally transported cloth receptacle. Upon completion of this task, he executed an abrupt about- face, placed a single manual digit in lateral juxtaposition to his olfactory organ, inclined his cranium forward in a gesture of leave-taking, and forthwith effected his egress by renegotiating (in reverse) the smoke passage. He then propelled himself in a short vector onto his conveyance, directed a musical expulsion of air through his contracted oral sphincter to the antlered quadrupeds of burden, and proceeded to soar aloft in a movement hitherto observable chiefly among the seed-bearing portions of a common weed. But I overheard his parting exclamation, audible immediately prior to his vehiculation beyond the limits of visibility: "Ecstatic Yuletide to the planetary constituency, and to that self same assemblage, my sincerest wishes for a salubriously beneficial and gratifyingly pleasurable period between sunset and dawn."
E-mail contributions to Rob Nelson.
Nov 1, 2001