Another Christmas means another year for political correctness run amok. This week a school district in Montana was sued by parents over Christmas carols. Apparently any songs mentioning the birth of Jesus were deemed inappropriate. Schools that continued to have hits like "O Holy Night" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem" or "Silent Night" were legally accused of bullying by lawyers of parents suing a school district in Missoula. Apparently songs about Rudolph, Frosty and Santa are permissible.
Since these Christmas "characters" are not religious, they can and will show up at future "Holiday concerts" (not Christmas concerts) instead of a baby in a manger. Santa replaces baby Jesus? Not so fast. It looks like the jolly old elf also got in trouble this week for one of his activities in the classic "Twas the Night Before Christmas".
For in the original poem, Santa is a smoker. Of a pipe. After 200 years, Santa has kicked a bad habit thanks to the PC police. The new Clement C. Moore "Twas The Night Before Christmas" pulls the pipe from Santa’s mouth and drops all references to his smoking habit. The cover of the book, published this month by Grafton and Scratch says it was "edited by Santa Claus for the benefit of children of the 21st century."
Seriously? But why stop there? Santa is overweight. He needs a diet. And he needs a shave. The guy eats cookies and milk from millions of kids around the world. Shouldn’t someone help him change this to celery sticks and Perrier?
The color red is offensive to bulls. And on the topic of animals, what about those cute little deer that should be left to go free range? Where does it stop?
A Westman PC night before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas [three days after the Winter Solstice], when all through the house [abode or dwelling. Possibly affordable housing if we knew what that was.]
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse [we should say Mickey, or Tom from Tom and Jerry as to not frighten kids].
The stockings [leg coverings, ‘stockings’ may be an inappropriate visual image to some readers] were hung by the chimney [a safe distance from the chimney after checking local fire code] with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas [Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, Hoteiosho, Baba Chaghaloo et al] soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, [CSA Approved of course with proper safety rails.]
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads. [sugar-free plums are preferred. In fact, unsweetened fruit of any variety.]
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, [both non-gender specific unisex hats.]
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap. [Canadian Medical association recommended minimum seven hours.]
When out on the lawn [or shared public green space] there arose such a clatter [loud sound that does not violate Noise Abatement Bylaw 624],
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. [to investigate a noise of undeterminable origin.]
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. [opened swiftly, my CSA approved energy efficient triple pane windows.]
The moon on the [chest] of the new-fallen snow [female anatomy cannot be said on the radio or TV due to CRTC restrictions.]
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below. [objects that in no way would impede a walkway to violate any local by-laws.]
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, [NOT wandering; INVESTIGATING eyes. Wandering denotes scanning the yard for women.]
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny [free-range] reindeer, [tiny hoofed animals that should never be hunted for sport.]
With a little [vertically challenged] old [senior citizen] driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick [see above for multicultural variations].
More rapid than eagles his coursers [unfairly assumes knowledge of old English, therefore: a fast-running horse-like creature] they came,
And he whistled, and shouted [spoke respectfully], and called them by name!
"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen [Vivian, as Vixen carries with it negative connotations]!
On, Comet! On, Cupid [Cindy, as Cupid connotes nude babies bearing weapons]! on Donner and Blitzen! [renamed Barry. Blitzen sounds intoxicated.]
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! ! [Or other point on land that could be viewed by anyone
either with or without a home.]
Now [please] dash away! [Please] Dash away! [Please] Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, [in light of recent storms, this is changed to wind storms.]
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, [small hoofed animals of no gender specific name provided equal opportunity.]
With the sleigh full of toys [made from recyclables, renewable resources, and lead free paint], and St Nicholas [see above] too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the [energy efficient and solar-panel equipped] roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. [From horse like creature that should never be hunted for sport.]
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas [see above] came with a bound.
He was dressed all in [faux] fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. [Non-tobacco ashes, and soot.]
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, [MB workplace safety also dictates he should have a proper back brace.]
And he looked like a peddler [person, peddler is insulting to ultra-small-business retailers], just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses [carnations, which are thorn-less], his nose like a cherry [as a result of allergies, as opposed to alcohol or sunburn]!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, [he was a follically gifted person]
And the beard of his chin was as white [Euro-Canadian] as the snow.
The stump of a pipe [tree] he held tight in his teeth [gloved hand], [Lines to be omitted because of references to smoking and tobacco products without regard to the concern over second-hand smoke which would set a bad example for children.]
And the smoke [greenhouse gas] it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly [weak abdominal muscles shaped through inconsistent exercise and improper diet],
That shook [rippled] when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly [look for these lines to be removed in 2014 and 2015. Santa’s BMI number is too high.]
He was chubby and plump [husky and large], a right [left] jolly old [senior] elf [little person],
And I laughed [with him, not about him] when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A [non-harassing not implying anything inappropriate] wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, [nor did he sign to the hearing impaired any indication he was trying to communicate, but went straight to his hourly or salaried union-contracted position recently negotiated and agreed upon by all parties.]
And filled all the stockings [leg coverings], then turned with a jerk [annoying person, oh wait, ignore that one].
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose [carnation, see above]!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team [partners or colleagues] gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a[n] [organic] thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, [in his environmentally friendly transportation of compact
stature that does not contribute to the world wide concern of global warming, nor uses unreplenishable fossil fuels.]
"Merry Christmas [Happy holidays] to all [except those not holiday-season positive], and to all a good night!"
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 22, 2012