A Canadian author, Pamela McColl has deleted two verses from the Christmas classic “A Visit from St. Nicholas”. The verses refer to Santa smoking a pipe and having the smoke “encircle his head like a wreath.”

EXCUSE ME???!!! Have the PC Police struck again?

Okay, if we’re going to edit that, let’s look at the rest of the poem:


Twas the night before Christmas( What if I’m afraid of the dark?), when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring(creatures scare me!), not even a mouse.( I don’t like rodents either)
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,(Fire hazard)
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.(Are we endorsing too many sweets and tooth decay?)
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.(Sudden leaps out of bed can cause injury.)
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer. (Are these reindeer volunteering or is this enslavement?)

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!" (Is this OSHA approved behavior?)

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.
(Landing a sleigh on the roof of my house is supposed to be safe? What about my loss of shingles here?)
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound. (The chimney is dark, sooty, and probably has some coals going at the bottom. Not safe here.)

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, (Fur? Notify PETA)
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. (Don’t inhale.)
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back, (Lift with your knees or you hurt your back)
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack. (Degrading to peddlers)

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow. (I’m OK with this.)

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,(RED ALERT! Smoking reference!)
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.(RED ALERT!)
He had a broad face and a little round belly,(The result of over eating)
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly! (Endorsing obesity.)

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, (See last comment)
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself! (Are we bullying Santa?)
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. (Santa flirting now?)

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk. (Lower back injury now a definite possibility.)
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose! (See above comment about the unhealthy working environment of a chimney.)

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. (No reference to buckling his seat belt.)
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!" (No mention for our Jewish friends here.Happy Holidays!!!)