Monday, November 05, 2007

Santa Ordered to "Slim Down For Christmas"

According to, malls have ordered mall Santas to slim down or be refused this Christmas season. Health groups say the saint is setting a bad "example" for children.

Let's do something these groups have apparently forgotten and take a look at the HISTORICAL RECORD on this one. Changing the mall Santas won't change the reality that St. Nick is a bit of a butterball. And no matter how greasy and oily his innards may be or how gridlocked his arteries, by golly he accomplishes his duties. It's not for lack of exercise - Santa's nighttime giving spree once a year, even when averaged over the rest of the year, is formidable.

They'll have to change certain offending passages from Clemente Clark Moore's classic poem. Allow me to have a go:

"He had a tight face, was trim and was tall

Belly shook when he laughed? Not at all! Not at all!

He was threadlike and trim, a jolly old elf

And I thought I could use a few pushups, myself!

From a moment's joy spent with this giver so thin

I had a desire to go hit the gym!"


He's already fat. Let's not go and drive him to drink by misrepresenting his character. Giamatti has the facial expression down pat.


  1. Alice2:05 PM

    I casually found your page via XKCD forums and I felt the need to comment on this entry.

    Believe it or not, Thomas Nast (Gilded Age editorial cartoonist) was the first person to characterize St. Nicholas as a fat, jolly man. If you look at German and British traditions, including Christmas festivals and celebrations, their Santa Claus is still thin.

    The poem may call him round and jolly, but history isn't on your side for this one. :)

  2. Well, I would add that there's no Santa Claus in the first place. Y'know - in the name of accuracy.

    I was being facetious back there, rather than really trying to make any point, as is my wont.

  3. I was speaking about the historical image of Santa Claus--but I guess you missed my point.

  4. Nope. I just didn't explain myself very well. Part of the humor in the post was that the "historical" record for something fictional is, of course, ludicrous. I was playing at being ignorant and knee-jerk in the name of a joke and sounded serious. I've seen pictures of the "original" St. Nick, and am aware that the modern "Santa" is basically a modern creation.

    I think the Clement Clark Moore "account" predates the Nast cartoon, though - the former published in 1823, the latter 1863. "Bowl Full of Jelly" and whatnot.

    I don't blame you for thinking I was being serious - the post wasn't that funny in the first place. I'll try to make the joke more apparent next time.

  5. Alice1:50 PM

    Ah, I see you did your Google and Wikipedia research. Good job, there.

    Tut tut, what poor taste. First you self-depricate, then condescendingly tell me that I don't understand your unfunny jokes. Please try again.

  6. I wasn't trying to be condescending or overly self-deprecating or anything like that. I'm sorry if that came across in any of the text.

    I hope there's no hard feelings - you actually prompted me to do more than a bit of research on ol' Father Christmas :).


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