Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…

December 19, 1997

A few years ago Santa won a massive law settlement granting him royalties from the use of his image in the media covering a period of no more than twenty-five years. This was a mere fraction of the total duration of copyright violations according to his lawyer, but the amount was still Santa’s biggest financial gain since he signed a contract with Ebenezer Scrooge to use Christmas to boost sagging holiday profits. Unfortunately, Santa invested most of his new wealth in liposuction, a home in southern California, a fleet of red and green BMWs, and various other expenses which, for legal reasons, I can’t share with you. But by the time he was released from the Betty Ford Clinic, he was nearly destitute, the elves had signed a lucrative contract with a leading toy company, and the reindeer had finally been granted long sought after asylum under the Scandinavian Animal Protection Agency.

Mrs. Claus, whom Santa had divorced to pursue a short-lived fling with a supermodel, is now living on a Greek island and refuses to have anything to do with her former husband. To make it even worse, Santa, under the advice of a therapist, has, well, turned bad. He’s sold most of his North Pole property to oil companies, he’s booked himself in sleazy malls to make a few extra bucks, and, worst of all, he’s using his ability to watch over people when they’re sleeping or awake to provide invaluable demographic information to catalog companies, and, when the price is right, tips to America’s Most Wanted. Maybe that’s why Christmas, the time that is supposed to bring out the best in people, instead brings out their baseball bats. Why people recklessly grab for things that, in their right minds, they wouldn’t give their worst enemies, but now give their dearest friends, parents, or other relatives. Why there are fistfights over parking spaces and cases of pneumonia from people waiting all night outside malls for opening time. So I’ve got an idea for this Christmas: lock your doors, seal your windows, and if you have a fireplace, keep a huge fire going all night long. Santa has given us so many surprises over the years–I think it’s about time we return the favor.


THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, LEGALLY SPEAKING

Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did
occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter
"the House") a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein,
including, but not limited to a mouse.

A variety of foot apparel, e.g. stocking, socks, etc., had been
affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope
and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa
Claus (hereinafter "Claus") would arrive at sometime thereafter.

The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned
House were located in their individual beds and were engaged in
nocturnal hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein vision of
confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies,
nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear
in said dreams.

Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter
referred to as "I"), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the
House with the parts of the second part (hereinafter "Mamma"),
and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep. (At
such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear,
e.g. kerchief and cap.)

Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur
upon the unimproved real property adjacent and appurtent to said
House, i.e. the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature,
cause and/or circumstance. The party of the first part did
immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the
cause of such disturbance.

At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some
degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh
(hereinafter "the Vehicle") being pulled and/or drawn very
rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The
driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the
previously referenced Claus.

Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and
guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically
indentified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer,
Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter
"the Deer"). (Upon information and belief, it is further
asserted that an additional co-conspirator named "Rudolph" may
have been involved.)

The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the
Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of
several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the
House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with
packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature.
Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express
or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered
said House via the chimney.

Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially
covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large
sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys,
and other unknown items. He was smoking what appeared to be
tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances
and health regulations.

Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking
of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with
toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however,
constitute "gifts" to said minor pursuant to the applicable
provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.)

Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose
and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the
roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as
"lookouts." Claus immediately departed for an unknown
destination.

However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus
from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state
and/or exclaim: "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!"
Or words to that effect.

Respectfully Submitted,
s./ The Grinch


THE TEX-MEX VERSION OF "THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS"

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa,
Not a creature ws stirring — Caramba! Que pasa?
Los ninos were tucked away in their camas,
Some in long underwear, some in pijamas,
While hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado
In hopes that old Santa would feel obligado
To bring all children, both buenos and malos,
A nice batch of dulces and other regalos.
Outside in the yard there arose such a grito
That I jumped to my feet like a fightened cabrito.
I ran to the window and looked out afuera,
And who in the world do you think that it era?
Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero
Came dashing along like a crazy bombero.
And pulling his sleigh instead of venados
Were eight little burros approaching volados.

I watched as they came and this quaint little hombre
Was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre:
"Ay Pancho, ay Pepe, ay Cuco, ay Beto,
Ay Chato, ay Chopo, Macuco, y Nieto!"
Then standing erect with his hands on his pecho
He flew to the top of our very own techo.
With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea,
He struggled to squeeze down our old chiminea,
Then huffing and puffing at last in our sala,
With soot smeared all over his red suit de gala,
He filled all the stockings with lovely regalos —
For none of the ninos had been very malos.
Then chuckling aloud, seeming very contento,
He turned like a flash and was gone like the viento.
And I heard him exclaim, and this is verdad,
Merry Christmas to all, and Feliz Navidad!


TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

December 14, 1972
My dearest darling John:
Who ever in the whole world would dream of getting a real Partridge in Pear Tree? How can I ever express my pleasure. Thank you a hundred times for thinking of me this way.
My love always,
Agnes
================================================
December 15, 1972
Dearest John:
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
================================================
December 16, 1972
Dear John:
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’ve been too kind.
All my love,
Agnes
================================================
December 17, 1972
Dear John:
Today the postman delivered four calling birds. Now really, they are beautiful, but don’t you think enough is enough. You are being too romantic.
Affectionately,
Agnes
================================================
December 18, 1972
Dearest John:
What a surprise. Today the postman delivered five golden rings, one for every finger. You’re just impossible, but I love it. Frankly, all those birds squawking were beginning to get on my nerves.
All my love,
Agnes
=================================================
December 19, 1972
Dear John:
When I opened the door today there were actually six geese laying on my front steps. So you’re back to the birds again huh? These geese are huge. Where will I ever keep them? The neighbors are complaining and I can’t sleep through the racket. Please stop.
Cordially,
Agnes
================================================
December 20, 1972
John:
What’s with you and those freaking birds?? Seven swans a swimming. What kind of damn joke is this? There’s bird poop all over the house and they never stop the racket. I can’t sleep at night and I’m a nervous wreck. It’s not funny. So stop those freaking birds.
Sincerely,
Agnes
================================================
December 21, 1972
O.K. Buster:
I think I prefer the birds. What the hell am I going to do with 8 maids a milking? It’s not enough with all those birds and 8 maids a milking, but they had to bring their damn cows. There is manure all over the lawn and I can’t move in my own house. Just lay off me, smartass.
Agnes
================================================
December 22, 1972
Hey Shithead:
What are you…..some kind of sadist? Now there’s nine pipers playing. And Christ do they play. They’ve never stopped chasing those maids since they got here yesterday morning. The cows are getting upset and they’re stepping all over those screeching birds. What am I going to do? The neighbors have started a petition to evict me.
You’ll get yours !
Agnes
================================================
December 23, 1972
You rotten prick:
Now there’s ten ladies dancing. I don’t know why I call those sluts ladies. They’ve been balling those pipers all night long. Now the cows can’t sleep and they’ve got diarrhea. My living room is a river of shit. The Commissioner of Buildings has subpoenaed me to give cause why the building shouldn’t be condemned. I’m calling the police on you !
Agnes
================================================
December 24, 1972
Listen Fuckhead:
What’s with those eleven lords a leaping on those maid and ladies? Some of those broads will never walk again. Those pipers ran through the maids and have been committing sodomy with the cows. All twenty-three of the birds are dead. They’ve been trampled to death in the orgy. I hope you’re satisfied, you rotten vicious swine.
Your sworn enemy,
Agnes
================================================
December 25, 1972
Dear Sir:
This is to acknowledge your latest gift of twelve fiddlers fiddling which you have seen fit to inflict on our client, Miss Agnes McHolstein. The destruction, of course, was total. All correspondence should come to our attention. If you should attempt to reach Miss McHolstein at Happy Dale Sanitarium, the attendants have been instructed to shoot you on sight. With this letter please find attached a warrant for your arrest.
Cordially,
Law Offices of
Badger, Bender and Chole

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