By Lyn Vandebrake
With Christmas decorations brightening city streets, lights, tinsel and a few sprinklings of snowfall, I fell right into the holiday spirit. Over the weekend I unpacked my Christmas books, reading through my Politically Correct Holiday Stories by James Finn Garner.
A delightful little book of less than 100 pages it has a companion book Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, just as enchanting. In Bedtime Stories, Little Red Riding Hood walks through the government protected rain forest to visit her elderly significant other with a native-woven basket of all natural goodies. She encounters an endangered species and though at first they don’t understand each other’s objectives, it all works out in the end.
In Holiday Stories, Frosty, the non-gendered person of snow, has his health and well being tragically impaired because of depletion of the ozone layer and global warming.
Frosty’s plight depicts the problematic global warming results for all victims on Earth. Despite heroic measures taken by rescue groups, marches on Washington, prime-time television coverage and actions of the ACLU, no one is able to save Frosty.
‘Twas the night before Solstice says, “The children nestled all snug in their beds, dreaming of lentils and warm whole-grain breads.”
With these warm thoughts of holidays on my mind, I took a lighthearted journey through the internet looking up the history of Santa and problems he’s encountered as our culture has become more in line with what is politically acceptable, even required.
The Santa of yester-year has put on a few pounds, going from an almost gaunt little man wearing long red robes to the cholesterol-laden gentleman in fuax fur so he doesn’t offend PETA. When you leave him a treat on Christmas Eve, make sure it’s soy milk with carob (not chocolate) and gluten-free cookies.
His reindeer are non-gender they say, though in real life they’d all be female, according to Alaska Fish & Game Department, since male reindeer don’t sport antlers at Christmas, losing them sometime between November and first part of December.
According to www.boston.com Santa’s become multi-cultural, appearing in some neighborhoods as Asian, African American and Spanish. At one Christmas party it is said the African American Santa made a personal appearance with Mrs. Santa who was Caucasian, exemplifying his acceptance of bi-racial diversity.
Santa’s bag of toys has also experienced drastic changes. Barbie and Ken, getting in tune with the times, have embarked on numerous career changes. Ken has outfits placing him in the professional realm of airline steward, cocktail waiter, stay-at-home dad, nurse and secretary. Barbie is a pilot, a surgeon and CEO of her own company.
When Santa fills the stockings now he has to include batteries for all the electronics. His cell phone gifts come with two-year contracts, laptops with extended warranties and games must be accompanied with all kinds of accessories.
Maybe the song to sing should be, It’s a Gadget-filled Christmas, rather than Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
Chimneys have been replaced with stainless steel triple-wall pipe to accommodate low emission wood stoves and electric fireplaces don’t have pipes of any size going through the roof to accommodate Santa’s entry.
Department of Transportation tells me a moving vehicle of any kind must to be properly licensed, registered and insured.
I called Progressive Insurance. Sure enough they can handle other moving things (not just cars) such as boats, motor cycles, motor homes and more, which of course could also include a sleigh.
Flo in the often-seen Progressive Insurance commercial says Santa can name his own price with Progressive and also take advantage of ‘bundling’ insuring the reindeer barn at the same time.
I called the local Airport. They tell me Santa needs to file with Flight Service for a flight plan.
Department of Agriculture says he needs interstate livestock transport papers and only if he can get those reindeer classified as livestock. Actually they could come under the category of exotic wildlife, in which case it’s illegal for Santa to even have possession of them.
The Humane Society says there are rules about how many hours animals can work and under what conditions. Rudolf could be classified as a special needs fur child and if proven that discrimination took place in the reindeer barn, everybody would be tied up with a class action lawsuit delaying Christmas for months, possibly years.
What’s in your Christmas season this year?