By Elf Ed Zachary
We live in a politically correct world these days. That means we're careful in how we say things. For whatever reason, Christmas is a target in the battles of political correctness. In some place, folks won't say "Merry Christmas" -- they'll say "Happy Holidays" instead because they don't want to be "offensive".
That's silliness, of course. You know it, I know it and all the world knows it. But in the spirit of the season we allow it "just in case" because deep down nobody with "Merry Christmas" on their lips intends to offend.
But the games of nicey-nice seem to end with Santa Claus. While the world tip-toes around the mere mention of the word "Christmas" with Santa they feel free to just bash away.
Recently a major newspaper in London printed a story about Santa Claus being too fat. They didn't say "overweight", "large-boned", or even "great with child". They just said "fat" -- like they would say that about anyone, including their own mothers.
According to shopping center owners in the UK Santa is setting a bad example for children. Childhood obesity is a (pardon the pun) growing problem in the UK and I guess the shopping center folks feel compelled to solve the issue themselves. In fact, some shopping malls in the UK are asking Santa to slim down before visiting there for the season because they don’t want a fat Santa to be shown to the kids.
Santa just laughed when he read the article. Santa is used to folks demeaning him, I suppose. It happens all the time.
But Mrs. Claus was really bothered by it. Most of the elves were upset about it. And apparently, many of you were upset by it too. The letters that poured into the North Pole when that article was published said in no uncertain terms that how they characterized Santa was exceptionally cruel.
But let’s accept the facts here. Santa is, well – a big guy.
He’s ok with that. And you should be too. Come to think of it, every newspaper and every shopping center in the world should accept that as well.
Santa needs to be large. And most of you already know why. Judging from the letters we have received in just a couple of days kids everywhere have good reasons for Santa's size.
Many wrote in to say that Santa has to be big to have the energy stores to get around the world in one night. That’s a good point and it is true. Chalk one up for being fat.
Some said that Santa had to have that layer of fat to insulate himself from the cold as he flies around the world on his sleigh. True again, chalk another one up.
Others said that Santa may be large but that he has lived longer than any one else ever.
That is also true.
Some even went so far as to quote another newspaper article citing doctors who say that obese people now live longer. We won’t get into that other than to say that while Santa does have a hearty appetite he also sees his doctor regularly and his doctors say nothing to him about his weight.
These things are all true and they are good observations. But there is yet another reason why Santa keeps a few extra pounds on his large frame:
Yes, Santa does it for the cookies. Children all over the world for decades and centuries have learned to leave treats for Santa. They do this out of love. And Santa eats every one of them and drinks all the milk, too.
Santa feels that one of the most important aspects of Christmas is learning to receive as well as to give.
It is a principle he thinks everyone should learn. He knows that those cookies are much more than calories, carbs and saturated fats. They are the spirit of Christmas itself.
Imagine it! Millions of cookies all consumed by one guy in one long night. Kind of puts that hot dog chow monster to shame, doesn’t it? What kind of training or preparation do you think it takes Santa to be able to do that every year?
Santa says the cookies aren’t hurting him. In fact, he calls them fuel to last the whole year long. Without them, Christmas just wouldn’t be possible.
Think about that the next time you consider Santa – or anyone else for that matter – fat.
People get their feelings hurt when you label them. We are all different as people. Elves are a good example of that. Instead of noticing the differences in people and trying to make them change Santa says we should instead celebrate the differences.
To that we raise a mug of eggnog to you, dear Santa.
Bartender, make it a double. Merry Christmas.