Copyright © 2006 Henrietta W. Hay
Santa and the Toys
December 22, 2006
'Tis the season. Trees are up, lights are in place, turkeys are about
to be roasted. And you know who is hitching up his sleigh.
Here is a version of an old favorite, the coming visit from St.
Nicholas "for readers in their 23rd year of schooling," was passed along
on the library network."
"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 the potential,
including that species of domestic rodent known as Musmusculus."
Santa Claus is the American title for Saint Nicholas, who lived in the
4th Century A.D. He was a very generous man, but he suffered greatly by
the Roman Emperor and died in poverty. His fame has come down through
the ages in many countries. In America he is Santa Claus.
On a more frivolous note, I have been thinking about Santa Claus.
For all the jolly pictures we see of him, Santa really
works under great presssure. Assuming one small toy per kid, the
payload on Santa's sleigh would be roughly 321,300 tons, plus Santa who
is slightly overweight. Eating 4 million cookies in one night will do
that to you. Donder and Blitzen and their fellow reindeer can't do the
job, since they are now over 150 (American version) years old. It would
take 214,200 physically fit reindeer.
Incidentally, Donder and Blitzen are misnamed. Male reindeer shed their
antlers early in the fall. The females keep theirs until spring. So
Donder should be Donderetta and you can name the others.
But I digress. These figures are based on the premise that there is
only one Santa Claus. A thousand Santas (1 kilosanta) or a million (a
megasanta) working in a parallel world could make it work. Santa is
not dead. He is distributed.
Poor Santa. But he is so universally loved he probably doesn't mind.
And look some of the toys he leaves.
Several years ago in my grungiest mood, I started naming each year a
prestigious "Annual Awful Taste in Toys Award." That was when I had
the energy to hit the toy stores a few weeks before Christmas and play
with the toys.
I have selected two of them in a tie for the grand prize.
The first year the winner was the Jesus doll at $29.95. According to
the publicity, "He bends at the waist, is machine washable and wears His
heart on His tunic." I think He offended the religious and the
non-religious equally. His creator (human) promised the Virgin Mary for
the next year, but fortunately somebody squelched the idea.
The next year the award went to "Mommy is having a Baby." The
little girl (of course it is a little girl) could open up mommy's tummy
and pull out the baby. I wonder what mommy had to say about that. And
even more, I wonder what soret of lesson what taught to the little
girl. Oh yes, nothing was said about Daddy.
We have Santa Claus and various kinds of toys and trees and lights and
excitement. But above all Christmas brings love and warmth and family
and a spirit of sharing.
So to everyone, a Very Merry Christmas and let's hope for a Peaceful New