Written by David Vogel Tuesday, 20 December 2011 20:38
NORTH POLE—Officials at the North Pole Public Relations Office are scrambling for preemptive damage control for an event that could discredit Santa Claus and his annual mission just hours before his Christmas Eve departure
Word was received this week at the world’s holiday cheer capital that an unflattering new book titled “In the Times of Nick: The Unauthorized Biography of Santa Claus” will be available in bookstores across the globe Dec. 24; timing that officials say hits the North Pole at its weakest moment.
“To use some imagery, this caught us in the un-taped seam of gift wrap between production and delivery, with absolutely no time to seal it up,” said Deke Zehalls, the head executive at Claus’s official PR firm. “Santa is going to have to make his deliveries on the very night that millions of people will be first reading some very unsavory allegations about his past.”
The biography is authored by Kitty Kelley, a best-selling investigative biographer notorious for belittling some of greats.
“Kelley has dug up, exposed and shamelessly embellished skeletons about many of modern culture’s biggest names,” Zehalls said, including Frank Sinatra, Jacqueline Kennedy, the British Royal Family, Elizabeth Taylor, Nancy Reagan, the Bush family and most recently Oprah Winfrey in 2010.
“She targets the most powerful people she can, and tries to melt the snow right out from under their feet.”
A leaked source from the biography’s publisher only identified as “Coal” snitched Kelley’s book claims that everything about Claus—from his wintertime generosity to his appearance—is stolen intellectual property that he has used to create the persona for which he is now famous.
“There are many historic examples of people who borrow ideas from another to help create something new,” Coal said. “But Claus deliberately filched characteristics from respectable figures to create a personality that required absolutely no creativity on Claus’s part.”
Coal said Kelley claims there are three main people from which Claus has unlawfully taken: St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas and Father Christmas.
“Take a look at these pre-Santa historic figures,” Coal said, “and the similarities that exist between them are quite remarkable.”
The fourth century saint and Greek bishop St. Nicholas, Coal pointed out, was famous for leaving gifts behind to those who deserved them. St. Nicholas Day, celebrated Dec. 6, is a festival for children in much of Europe.
The legendary Sinterklaas of the Netherlands and surrounding countries, Coal continued, seems to also have originated much of Claus’s iconic image.
“Sinterklaas is an elderly man with white hair and a long full beard who travels in red and gold robes and carries a book listing all the naughty children,” Coal said. “Yet he appears in historical records from the middle ages. Claus doesn’t show up until the early 1800s.”
Finally, Coal said, Kelley points out that the idea to distribute the gifts during the celebration of Christmas was taken directly from Father Christmas, a man who personified the birth of Christ in the 1400s.
“Today, all three of these names are synonymous with ‘Santa Claus,’ and yet St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas and Father Christmas are three separate individuals,” Coal said. “Kelley claims that credit is not being given where credit is due, and that’s what she hopes to illuminate in this book.”
However, North Pole archivist Chris Maspass claimed there is little in Claus’s history that could possibly be worthy of the snow Kelley tends to yellow in her journalism
“Santa is certainly not without his faults,” Maspas said, referring to an incident in 1952 in which Claus was caught under the mistletoe with a married woman, “but there is nothing so damaging from his past that would inspire a 500-page tell-all biography.”
“Kelley is dancing with sugar plums that exist only in her head,” he said. “Our PR firm is working to ensure that the public will be informed of Kelley’s gross exaggeration of the facts, and that Santa’s good name will be reinstated long before next Christmas.”
As for what Claus plans to put in Kelley’s stocking this year:
“Although we make it a priority to never reveal what a person will receive for Christmas,” Zehalls said, “we can say that Santa has done a little digging of his own.”