‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house – not a creature was stirring, because I finished up all of my holiday baking days ago! So here we are – it actually is the night before Christmas, cookies and milk have been set out accordingly and stockings have been hung by the mantle with the utmost of care, and although everything seems to be perfectly in line, just as it is every year, I have to admit that I find myself just a tad bit nervous and concerned that, for some reason, things might not go exactly according to plan. It’s probably nothing, and it’s not like we’ve ever woken up on Christmas day in the past to find a roomful of no presents, but this year I got a tip that things might just very well go down differently than before…

You see, it all started out as I was going through my standard Christmas Eve ritual, consisting of making all of the finalizations on my wish list for the year, enjoying the largest platter of shrimp, cheese and crackers that you’ve ever seen, and watching an array of my favorite Christmas movies. All was fine and dandy until one particular DVD – Christmas Eve on Sesame Street – came to the top of the stack and got me thinking. It’s in this film, mind you, that my miserable friend Oscar the Grouch raises the frighteningly valid point, “How does a guy like Santa Claus, who’s built like a dump truck, gonna come down all of those skinny, little chimneys???” I know, I know…it’s just a movie, but nonetheless, the more and more that I thought about it, the more I realized one thing – he had a point.

Not only did that Grouch have a point, but he had a point that was going to affect whether I would awaken to find all of the amazing toys and gadgets that I’d been dreaming about for the past several months or merely a pile of dry pine needles and a plate of untouched Christmas cookies! Pouring myself another glass of eggnog, as created from my own special recipe (two parts spiced rum, one part ice), I settled into my thinking chair and began to contemplate the very plight millions of children from around the world unknowingly faced that night. What I could actually do to help, that I hadn’t the slightest, but when those gears inside this noggin’ get a grinding, many will vouch that there’s little to be done to slow me down…and I still had more than half a bottle of rum to keep those babies lubricated all night long if need be!

So first of all, I think it’s pretty easy to see why even the craziest of conventional methods simply don’t stand a chance against the laws of science, and more importantly, the laws of how much space stuff takes up. I don’t care how much weight he’s lost, or even if he’s all good and lubed up – the man’s physical attributes alone prevent the obvious in this scenario! And before you even go there, let’s not forget another directive from the main Grouch himself – it’s either the chimney or nothing…no windows, no doors, no incinerator shaft. Of course, this in and of itself raises another important question to consider – what about those houses that don’t even have chimneys?!

I suppose that technically magic is always a possibility, especially with the overwhelming popularity of that Harry Potter these days, that whole concept then brought up the question of whether or not Mrs. Claus was actually a muggle or had powers of her own, thus opening up an entirely new can of worms! I also wondered if it might be possible for Santa to maybe have the elves do the actual delivering, as they’d certainly have a much better chance of ever fitting down those things than he would, but again, my mind soon shifted back to the entertainment industry and I wondered why Santa’s elves are depicted as short, stumpy fellows, while every other fantasy world describes the elven race as a tall and strong, independent type. Maybe we’ve really been mistakening them for dwarves all of these years?

Mind you, I kicked back and forth on this topic for a better part of the evening until it finally hit me, all in a tone of voice quite similar to the very one I used to hear when Mom and Dad caught me up playing video games super-late on Christmas Eve – Santa Claus can’t come as long as you’re still awake. Maybe it was the booze, maybe it was the nostalgia, or maybe somebody had decided that it would be a hilarious prank to sneak into my house on Christmas Eve and impersonate my Mother, but whichever you prefer, somehow this did surprisingly satisfy me and I was out faster than you can say, “Get your ass to bed or you’re not getting anything for Christmas!”

Nonetheless, I’m happy to admit that it didn’t take that entire bottle to remind me how he does it after all…it saves me from having to go out and pick up another for New Years! Just as we’re taught when we’re five years old and first sit on Santa’s lap in the mall, he’s able to fit down the chimney and deliver all those toys in a single night because that’s just what he does, much in the same way that the Easter Bunny can hide all of those eggs and that Cupid manages to hook me up with the most schizophrenic women on the planet each and every Valentine’s Day! There are some things in life that simply shouldn’t be questioned – even chalked up to magic if need be – and this, my friends, is certainly one of them…

Now on the other hand, how he manages to mass-produce so many toys while working on such a limited crew and a budget comprised primarily of imaginary money – that might be one that deserves a bit of further investigation…but for now, it’s just going to have to wait until next year. Merry Christmas everyone, and may all of your presents be there come morning!