Yuletide's Ebb and Flow

Santa Sans. As the final hours before Santa's arrival slink by, tradition calls for a sober examination of the cause and effect relationship that results in taped and papered objects beneath a tree in the living room, den, or kitchen. Bathroom trees are exempt from this analysis, since a pine tree in the lavatory indicates systemic problems that don't respond well to off-color hypnotic suggestion.

While common antibiotics are similarly ineffective against the on-again-off-again sparkling of too many lights on the grid, some might say that a formal logic system is your huckleberry when it comes to deciding who gets the blame for Christmas. It's tempting to assume that Christmas wouldn't exist without Santa, but stripping Santa of his red suit leaves little to the imagination, and even less on which to hang the colorful ribbons and bows we rely on as visual cues that ornamentation is what we had in mind.

A suitable counterpoise to the temptation outlined above requires an equal but opposite reaction, by which I mean flipping Santa over to see what's underneath. After brushing aside the crumbs, we're ready to wonder if Santa would exist without Christmas, and if not, which way the river of symbiosis flows when it isn't being siphoned into holding tanks for fracking operations.

This brings us one step closer to the end of this paragraph, and two steps back if time has been thrown into reverse by a powerful spring. It has, of course, hence the futility of expecting a formal logic system to illuminate the Mayan calendar, or Santa. A lot of things stop, but that doesn't mean they won't be flung backward, only to run tail first into the same scenario at the other end, followed by a headlong rush to the finish, where the scenario is repeated again.

For this reason, asking whether Santa causes Christmas or is merely a symptom of it is like pondering the direction of alternating current in your home. Like the spring-loaded Mayan calendar, precedence is futile where boingability rules the day.



  1. You've answered many questions here.

  2. Yes, but I fear I may have opened a can of springs. What else might be spring-loaded, and (3) how can I ever be sure that there's enough pressure to keep the air brakes from breaking my train of thought? No handsprings for me today, or tomorrow.

  3. I read somewhere that Santa without Christmas is like a tooth fairy for chickens. Yet chickens do indeed have toothlike caps on their beaks (which they use to break out of their shells). Chicken tooth fairies are adorable as younlings but less so by the time they're old enough for a hen night. But anyway, a Santa without Christmas might devolve slightly into Saint Saturday:


  4. Then let me be the first to christen Santa Sans by swiping a line from the poem: "For if he'd done them little good, he'd done no harm at all."