She stuffed Hershey’s Kisses into the numbered pockets of the soft, felt advent calendar. The kiss tradition began back when Hershey had a factory in a nearby town called Smiths Falls. She felt virtuous supporting a local business and keeping its workers employed by sweetening the December mornings of their children with a sugar kiss. (Chocolate breath still reminds her of Christmas. ) That small factory closed a few years ago and the death knell rang its last gong. Then an entrepreneur purchased it to grow medical marijuana.
The advent calendar Santa holds a lantern and stands amidst an evergreen felt forest. He wears an over sized burgundy coat trimmed with brown fur over baggy hunter green trousers. His beard is white, his nose bulbous suggesting either too much eggnog or fights with overworked, underpaid and rebellious elves.
Santa waves a white mittened hand at her and she feels a cool breeze and catches a whiff of pine. His moustache moves and he mumbles names. Her hand freezes over number 11.
Little known fact: Elves are actually rejected offspring of trolls deemed too small to terrify under bridges or in closets, and delivered to Santa’s benevolent workhouse. Dickens wrote about it but, under pressure from the trolls to keep their secret, and who warned Charles he’d be dock rat fodder if he published the story, he changed it to “Oliver Twist”.
Santa stared at her with smoke-hole eyes, made that way by the pipe he chews on as he composes the naughty list. When he rests it in the ashtray Mrs. Claus made in pottery class back in ’72, you’ll see his teeth marks in the stem’s tip. The naughty list grows faster than the nice list and Santa likes it that way. It reduces his production overhead and profits soar like Prancer and Dancer. It also means he can kick back and chug more nog and watch another episode of “Stranger Things” without falling behind schedule.
The trolls had to intervene because they knew if everyone was naughty and the world wasn’t well lubricated with gifts at Christmas time, they might pay attention to other issues like their throbbing teeth made rotten from sucking stale candy canes all year, or complain that’s Santa’s factory delivered them a milk frother that broke after only three months.
The trolls sent Count Diovolo to help Santa cull the naughty list. Count D said “Rudolph’s nose won’t glow no more if the list don’t get fixed.”
As she stuffed the chocolates into their numbered days, Santa whispered “I don’t think I can make it this year. The naughty list is longer than it’s ever been. I fear the return of Count Diovolo.” She offered him a chocolate which he turned down and said “Can you get me some marijuana?”
She contacted the pot people and explained the predicament. They donated 25 foil wrapped, kiss-shaped packages. Comet picked them up and she wrote a note to Mrs. Claus instructing her to stuff Santa’s pipe every morning with a kiss.
The children pluck their morning chocolate, counting down the days until Santa and his crew arrive. They suck on the sweetness of life provided by a hefty white man who lives in a land of everlasting winter with elves, reindeer, and an enabling wife, and who dances to the tunes of trolls.